HARRISBURG, Pa. (Erie News Now) — Thursday, Pennsylvania House lawmakers continued their efforts to pass a window for victims of childhood sexual assault to sue abusers outside the statute of limitations.
A constitutional amendment to provide the two-year window passed the state Senate last month, but was lumped together with controversial proposals like voter I.D.
During today’s special session, the House considered their versions of the window for a second time. The two-House versions provide a standalone two-year window- not combined with any other proposals.
One version, House Bill 1, is a constitutional amendment, meaning a proposed change to the Pennsylvania Constitution that voters would decide on the November ballot. The other, House Bill 2, is a statutory bill.
The two bills in the House would allow victims to come forward and file civil claims against their abuser, or any institution that covered the abuse- including public schools- even if the assault took place decades ago. Currently, the statute of limitations prevents victims from doing so.
The bills are on track to receive third and final consideration tomorrow before they can be sent to the Senate. However, even if a standalone two-year window passes the House, it remains far from the finish line.
Republican state Senate leaders say they have already fulfilled their commitment for the window by passing Senate Bill 1 in January.