SNAP Cautiously Optimistic as PA SOL Reform Moves Ahead
There are signs of progress in the fight for statute of limitations reform in Pennsylvania. We are cautiously optimistic about this move and are hopeful that more steps towards real reform will be taken soon.
Yesterday, the Pennsylvania State Senate voted 44-3 to start the process again to amend the constitution as stated in House Bill 14. The previous version of HB 14 would have provided emergency repair for the disastrous clerical error on the part of the Secretary of State's department earlier this year which prevented already-passed legislation from being seen through.
Philadelphia’s SNAP Leader Michael McDonnell has been working very closely with the think tank CHILD USA in calling for a stand-alone statutory bill that would open up a “window to justice” without having to go through the constitutional amendment process. Now, we have learned that Senate leadership is strongly considering running a stand-alone statutory window bill alongside the constitutional amendment bill HB14.
“Each grand jury investigation into abuse within Catholic dioceses from 2005 through 2018 have recommended a two-year civil window that would open the courthouse doors to survivors,” said McDonnell. "I see no reason why a dual road to justice for survivors can't exist. This is encouraging for all survivors, and we have known since 2018 that the yes votes exist."
Survivors and advocates expect to learn more when the Senate returns on April 19th.
(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)