State lawmakers near final vote on child sexual abuse legislation

Associated Press
State Rep., Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, speaks at the podium during a rally advocating for a change in state law to allow lawsuits for child sex abuse, in Harrisburg, Pa, Tuesday, June 12, 2018. Victims and supporters all gathered in the steps of the Pennsylvania Capitol Rotunda. (Jose F. Moreno/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania lawmakers are expected to make the final vote on a bill to provide more time to file charges or lawsuits over cases of sexual abuse after a debate roiled by last year’s grand jury report into child molestation by Roman Catholic priests.

A state House Republican spokesman says the chamber will vote Thursday, likely sending it to Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.

Wolf says he’ll sign the bill and companion legislation clarifying penalties for mandated reporters who don’t report suspected child abuse and invalidating confidentiality agreements that prevent child sexual abuse victims from talking to investigators.

A proposed state constitutional amendment to give now-adult victims of child sexual abuse a new opportunity to sue abusers and institutions has passed both chambers but must do so again in the 2021-22 session.