Office of Inspector General report on the PA Department of State's failure to meet its constitutional mandate released, SNAP calls out the Senate
Today the acting Secretary of State for Pennsylvania released the State Inspector General's report on an investigation into the clerical error that blocked voters from casting their ballots on an amendment to allow survivors of child sexual assault to file civil claims. While the report found no evidence that the oversight was deliberate or intentional, the mistake crushed the hopes of many survivors who had expected this referendum to be decided this past election day, May 18th. Sadly, the Senate refused to take action to correct this clerical error.
While we are frustrated that this unintentional mistake occurred, we are even more frustrated with the Pennsylvania Senate. They continue to fail child sex abuse victims as survivors seek justice, accountability, and transparency. The Senate calendar still has HB 951, which would open a "window to justice" for victims, listed under second consideration. However, Majority Leader Kim Ward refuses to bring this bill to the floor for a vote. We again urge Senator Ward and President Pro Tempore of the Senate Jake Corman to allow this piece of legislation to make amends for the devastating mistake that kept the amendment off the ballot this month and which the Senate refused to correct earlier.
While we are beyond disappointed with the actions of the Senate, we are encouraged by the tenacity of survivors and advocates who have never given up hope and who show up time and again to share their stories of pain and loss. We hope this report serves as a reminder that wrongs need to be corrected, especially when devastation is once again inflicted unnecessarily on the state's child sex abuse victims.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)