Pa. Acting Secretary of State addresses constitutional amendment failure

This Week in Pennsylvania
Acting Secretary

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid addressed findings on the Department of State’s failure to advertise a constitutional amendment that would have extended retroactively the timeline sexual abuse victims have to file a civil action against their abusers.

The findings came from the Office of State Inspector General’s report on the department.

“On behalf of the Department of State, I apologize to the victims of abuse for the additional pain and distress we have caused them,” Secretary Degraffenreid said. “We are committed to ensuring such a failing with never happen again.”

The Department of State has begun to implement several changes to improve processes based on recommendations from the Inspector General’s report and other changes instituted by the department.

Such changes include:

  • Creating a documented process to how proposed constitutional amendments are handled from start to finish
  • Creating written training materials for staff and requiring new and current staff to be trained on these processes annually
  • Instituting written and electronic tracking systems for every step in handling proposed constitutional amendments

“As we move forward, we will be implementing these changes and looking for other process improvements,” Secretary Degraffenreid said.

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