PA Senate Fails to Vote on Retroactive Window: Encouraging News

On the final day of the legislative schedule, October 17, 2018, the Republican-led Pennsylvania Senate failed to bring the retroactive window legislation to a vote on the floor by the full Senate. Personally, I am encouraged by this development because it signals a change in the tides that will end with passage of a window for civil lawsuits against individual abusers and the institutions that covered up the abuse. The timeline of the debates is well-chronicled by the press, here is one story from , and on the eve of the final day of voting, Senate leaders capitulated on the claim that retroactive windows like this are unconstitutional — which has been unproven and unfounded since the beginning of its use as a rationale — and so for me, I can wait for the window to open for ALL survivors. Senate leaders have already conceded their support for individual abusers. The hold up this time was about institutions, namely the Catholic Church, which is still being protected by Senate Republican leaders – not all Republicans – but the Senate leadership. I applaud House leaders for standing firm that they would not pass a window amendment that exempts institutions. I have personally spoken with House and Senate leaders representing Berks County and they are now in support of a retroactive window, whereas a few years ago they were not, and were steadfast in their belief that it was unconstitutional. I firmly believe that a window to justice for ALL will be reintroduced in January and will pass the House and Senate in 2019. And when it does, I will be ready.