HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania state lawmakers met in Harrisburg Monday at the request of Gov. Tom Wolf, who called a special session in the final eight days of his administration, hoping to pass a constitutional amendment to retroactively extend the timeline for victims of childhood sexual abuse to file civil actions.
The House is still not in order, and independent Speaker Mark Rozzi has yet to speak with the media about how that arrangement will work, leaving room for several unanswered questions.
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Rozzi wants a constitutional amendment to give survivors of sex abuse the ability to sue beyond their statute of limitations. The amendment passed both chambers last session and needs to pass both chambers this session — and quickly — in order for it to be on the May ballot.
The governor called the special session to get lawmakers to focus on that bill and pass it by the first week in February, the deadline for it to make it on the ballot.
The amendment should have been law by now, but a failure by the Department of State to properly advertise it kept it off the ballot before.
Rozzi, in a video statement, made it clear that this amendment is his top priority.
“Let me be clear, as long as I am speaker of the House of Representatives, the House will consider no other legislation until the general assembly passes the language of Rep. Gregory’s constitutional amendment,” Rozzi said.
When the governor calls a special session, lawmakers have to show up for it, but they don’t necessarily have to accomplish anything. They can gavel in, gavel out, and call it a day. It is yet to be seen whether anything will actually come out of this special session.