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Gov. Wolf didn’t have to call for special legislative session to address child sexual abuse

Outgoing Gov. Tom Wolfe took a break from packing Friday to call for a special legislative session to bring justice to old child sexual abuse victims.

Wolff, a Democrat, said a special session was needed on Monday so Congress could finalize the referendum. The referendum will ask voters whether state constitutions should be amended to retroactively allow victims to sue those responsible for assaults.

A referendum is desperately needed. But Congress should not need a special session to do so. Legislators should do their job quickly without playing partisan games.

The State Senate is already scheduled to open on Monday. Wolfe’s announcement on Friday was little more than a shameful attempt to scrape the final publicity before his term ends in a matter of weeks.

He called on lawmakers to pass the necessary bills by January 27. So you can advertise the referendum and put it on the May 16 primary ballot.

“This special session is an important step in enabling the General Assembly to focus on this important and potentially life-saving task,” Wolff said in a statement on Friday. Victims should not be denied the opportunity to hold abusers accountable.”

There is plenty of time for that to happen through the normal legislative process.

The Senate is scheduled to open eight days before Wolfe’s proposed deadline, including Monday, according to the website’s calendar.

The House has not yet released its session calendar. Last year, the House of Representatives opened its session six days before he started on January 27th. A similar number of sessions is therefore expected to be held this year.

House Speaker Mark Rozzi said in a statement that the House would not consider other bills until the issue was resolved.

“This is doable and I am confident it will happen,” he said.

Pennsylvania House Speaker Mark Rozzi is pictured on the podium at the State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Tuesday, January 3, 2023. (AP Photo/Matt Smith)

A Democrat who has committed to acting as an independent speaker, Lotzi ran for public office to seek justice for child sexual abuse victims. Three years ago he filed a lawsuit against the Diocese of Allentown and the Diocese of Holy Guardian Angel in Reading. Said he was sexually abused by a priest in the 1980s when he was 13.

For years, Congress has failed to give sexual abuse victims a chance to get their abusers to pay. Grand jury report reveals how hundreds of priests sexually abused over 1,000 childrenand their sins were covered up by the Catholic Church and others.

The grand jury made several recommendations, including opening a retroactive window, even though the statute of limitations on these claims had expired.

Lawmakers were reluctant to pass legislation to allow it, as other states have done. Instead, it chose to ask voters whether they would allow it through a constitutional amendment.

Completing the process of putting the referendum to the ballot should not be difficult or time consuming.

Referendums require identical bills to be passed by successive Legislative Councils. Congress has completed the first half of the process in 2021, minimizing objections.and legislative leaders of both parties We made a promise months ago to prioritize completing the process early this year.

The referendum should have been held in 2021, but The State Department blew it.

Legislators approved the necessary laws. However, the referendum never took place because the department failed to promote it properly so voters knew what they were voting for.

So MPs had to start over.

They are nearing the finish line again. This should be an immediate priority in the coming weeks. And if lawmakers do what they’re elected to do, it can be accomplished without the drama of a special session.

Wake Up Call columnist Paul Mastic can be reached at 610-820-6582 or paul.muschick@mcall.com.

https://www.mcall.com/opinion/mc-opi-pa-clergy-sex-abuse-constitutional-amendment-muschick-20230107-gthzktigsjesfjo63gnefz2zym-story.html#ed=rss_www.mcall.com/arcio/rss/category/news/local/ Gov. Wolf didn’t have to call for special legislative session to address child sexual abuse

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