HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania Speaker of the House Mark Rozzi has announced a bipartisan group of legislators to work on passing a constitutional amendment to expand the statute of limitations for survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
The six-member group, named the Speaker’s Workgroup to Move Pennsylvania Forward, consists of three Republican and three Democrat Representatives from across the Commonwealth.
The group consists of Rep. Paul Schemel (R-Franklin), Rep. Morgan Cephas (D-Phila), Rep. Jason Ortitay (R-Allegheny/Washington), Rep. Peter Schweyer (D-Lehigh), Rep. Valorie Gaydos (R-Allegheny), and Rep. Tim Briggs (D-Montgomery).
Rozzi has said the House will not take up any other legislation until they can pass a bill that would create a ballot referendum for voters to pass a constitutional amendment that would expand the statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse survivors.
The bill would provide a two-year window for survivors to file a civil suit against their alleged abusers. A special session began this week to focus on the legislation.
“While the workgroup does not include any members of caucus leadership, it is my hope that caucus leadership will continue their negotiations while this workgroup carries out its charge,” said Rozzi.
The workgroup will organize on January 17, the day Josh Shapiro will be sworn-in as Pennsylvania’s 48th Governor, and will meet regularly until a path forward is reached.
“The House Democratic Caucus is hopeful that these discussions will yield the outcome necessary so that members will soon be able to return to the special session to finally provide survivors of childhood sexual abuse with a path toward justice,” said Nicole Reigelman, Press Secretary for the Office of Democrat Majority Leader Joanna McClinton.
The State Senate passed a bill that includes three constitutional amendments including the survivor’s civil lawsuit window and voter identification requirements.