Pennsylvania Senate Committee Reveals its Twisted Priorities

Pennsylvania Senate Committee Reveals its Twisted Priorities
The Morning Call

Bill White

Priorities are important, for people and for politicians.

Most members of the state Senate Judiciary Committee made their priorities clear Tuesday. They concluded that it was more important to protect the financial resources of the Catholic Church and insurance industry than to offer justice to more victims of child sex abuse, to unmask predators to protect future children and to punish institutions that have aided and abetted in child abuse.

They did this by amending House Bill 1947, the child sex-abuse statute of limitations bill, so that it no longer provides court access to abuse victims who are blocked by present law and haven’t reached age 50. Committee members ostensibly did this because they believe it’s unconstitutional. In fact, the amendment contains a strange preamble attempting to justify this view.

But they had ample expert opinion at their disposal to know this issue was far from decided. What they should have done, if they weren’t bowing to the wishes of powerful special interests, was allow the courts to resolve that question.

The bill in its new form still would eliminate the statute of limitations for criminal cases of child sexual abuse and extend the statute for civil cases until the victim reaches age 50, from the present age 30. Those who already are blocked by present law would remain out of luck…