FROM: Assemblywoman Margaret Markey
SUBJECT: February 2015 Update – Making CVA the Law in New York State
The New York State Legislature has started a new session with many newly-elected Members in the Assembly and new leadership in the office of the Speaker. Educating them about the issue of child sexual abuse and its damaging impact on survivors and society is a high priority for me over the coming months.
As we learned last year, New York State currently ranks among the very worst of all states in America in how it deals with child sexual abuse crimes. It is the victims who suffer most as a result of our state’s archaic statute of limitations law (SOL) for these offenses and future generations of children are at risk as pedophiles are hidden and go unpunished for their crimes.
Following is an update about current legislative activity in Albany to remedy this deplorable situation by reforming our statute of limitations by making the Child Victims Act the law in New York State. (See the story about the 2015 initiative for CVA that appeared in the Albany Times-Union, attached here.)
IN THE NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY: With the beginning of a new legislative term, the Child Victims Act has a new Assembly bill number this year: A2872. The provisions of the bill remain the same as previously, calling for complete elimination of the criminal and civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse crimes in the future, with a complete one year suspension of the civil SOL to benefit older victims. Even this early in the session, I am pleased that 52 co-sponsors have already joined me on the bill – that is more than one third of the total Assembly membership. As I meet with my colleagues to educate them about CVA and the importance of the bill, and as you continue to reach out to your own Assembly members, I believe we are certain to attract additional co-sponsors over the coming weeks. I am hopeful for an Assembly vote on A2872 this spring.
IN THE NEW YORK STATE SENATE: There is also a new Senate bill number for the Child Victims Act: S63. Senator Brad Hoylman is the prime sponsor and he is moving vigorously to bring new co-sponsors to the bill. One new addition to that list, Senator Marc Panepinto of Buffalo, just announced his support for CVA last week to welcome media attention at home and in Albany. See some of the coverage attached here.
SAVE THE DATE APRIL 22 FOR ALBANY LOBBY DAY: Wednesday, April 22 will be Lobby Day for CVA in Albany. More details about programming will be available shortly, but in addition to your personal visits to individual legislators, I also want us to educate all of Albany about the issue of childhood sexual abuse and its consequences. Groups supporting CVA and other organizations concerned about the issue are invited to set up educational displays in a reserved public area of the State Legislative Office Building on that date to get out their message. We will have more information about displays and exhibits soon, so if you are interested, please send me a letter or email now to tell me about your group and the nature of your display.
I want to thank all those individuals and organizations who have worked so hard over many years on behalf of the Child Victims Act. This SOL reform bill is similar to other ground-breaking legislative initiatives that have eventually overcome entrenched opposition to become law. It is your persistent voices that will ultimately prevail as you continue to point out the injustice of current law and the damaging effect it has on survivors of child sexual abuse as well as on our society.
Look for new updates over the coming weeks and please keep in touch with our current activity on the CVA link on my New York State Assembly website. As always, please also stay in touch with my office and let us know how you can help.
Margaret M. Markey
Reach my office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
For Information about CVA developments in NY and updates about 2015 activities, see the CVA button on my Assembly website home page, http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/Margaret-M-Markey/