HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Survivors of sexual abuse rallied on the State Capitol steps again today. So what is taking the state so long to pass a bill they have sought for years?
The survivors feel they’ve waited long enough for a bill to let them sue even if the statute of limitations has run out.
House bill 951 passed the House and out of Senate committee with plenty of support.
“I think for the sake of those who’ve been harmed terribly we need to get moving on this,” Republican State Senator Mike Regan said. “If this gets on the floor of the Senate does it pass? I think it does.”
So why hasn’t it been moved? Survivors have their suspicions.
“It always seems that the leader, in this case, it’s the majority leader Kim Ward that’s holding it up,” Lara Fortney McKeever, an abuse survivor said.
Ward’s spokeswoman says the leader is not opposed but is vetting the bill for its constitutionality and wants the public to understand exactly what’s in it.
“Our neighboring states have passed a statutory window, both of which have not been challenged in court,” Democratic State Senator Katie Muth said.
“Here we are again tossed like political footballs now the excuse is we don’t trust the courts to do the right thing when is this gonna stop,” Patty Fortney Young, another survivor said.
Survivors have made it clear they’re not gonna stop and had this message for predators.
‘To you and everyone protecting you and covering up for you and supporting bad laws that protect you, we are coming for you,” Heather Hogan Spencer, a survivor advocate said.
While lawmakers struggle to pass this bill they made it clear they already had a fix, it was supposed to be on next week’s ballot as a constitutional amendment if not for a Department of State screw up.