Advocates, legislators frustrated by inaction on child sex abuse bill

WHP - CBS News 21 [Harrisburg PA]

September 27, 2021

By Ryan Eldredge

Victims of child sex abuse in Pennsylvania are still waiting for leaders in Harrisburg to act after the Department of State failed to get an amendment on the ballot. That amendment would’ve given them a chance to take their abuser to court.

Unfortunately moving on a ballot amendment, while not out of the question, is the long play because it would take at least two years to get it before voters. That’s why many advocates and legislators are pushing for House Bill 951 to get a vote in the Senate.

That bill is currently stuck on the desk of Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward who has declined to advance it, citing constitutional questions about the retroactive window.

“I have been a supporter of this bill since the beginning and this movement from the beginning,” said State Sen. Maria Collett. “It would really allow victims of child abuse to get justice and seek their day in court and it’s devastating to see the majority party sit on their hands time and time again.”

Attorney General Josh Shapiro has also been critical of Ward and says that insurance company lobbyists are the real motivation behind GOP inaction.