HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Majority Republicans in the state Senate announced Monday they will not employ a rarely used emergency process to amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to give victims of child sexual abuse a 2-year window in which to file civil lawsuits.
Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward issued a statement that said the matter “does not meet the emergency status criteria and does not correct the failure by the Wolf Administration as it still does not properly vet this matter with the public.”READ MORE: Pennsylvania Lawmakers Launch New Push For Child Sex Abuse Lawsuit Window
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s Department of State failed to make the required public advertisements last year of a conventional constitutional amendment, leaving lawmakers a choice between starting the process over or using the emergency amendment process. Ward said lawmakers will start over.
Conventional constitutional amendments require passage by both chambers in two consecutive two-year sessions before going to voters as a referendum.READ MORE: Fiasco At Pennsylvania State Department Leads To Secretary’s Resignation And Upends Sexual Abuse Survivors’ Ability To Sue
The emergency amendment proposal became an option after Wolf’s administration revealed six weeks ago it had committed a massive mistake and failed to arrange the mandatory advertisement.
That scuttled plans to approve a proposed state constitutional amendment allowing lawsuits over decades-old claims — prompted by investigations into child sexual abuse allegations inside Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic diocese — to appear on the May 18 primary ballot for voters to consider.
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