As abuse victims line hallways, debate rages behind closed doors over civil window

As abuse victims line hallways, debate rages behind closed doors over civil window

With a well-tailored pinstripe suit, white pocket square and small black ribbon pin, Arthur Baselice stood sentinel by the door to the office of Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson).

Quietly, the former Philadelphia police detective held a sign with a picture of his son, Arthur III, and the two priests who abused him as a high schooler. The younger Arthur ended up dying of a drug overdose while attempting to deal with the trauma.

Occasionally wiping away tears, occasionally profane, Baselice, one of dozens of survivors to fill the Senate Monday, relayed his belief that the Senate needed to pass SB 261. The bill sponsored by Scarnati was amended in the House to include an option Scarnati calls unconstitutional and opposes: the civil window.

Monday, October 15, 2018/Author: Kara Barmoy
Civil window debate snarls up grand jury report response

Civil window debate snarls up grand jury report response

A preliminary offer from the Pennsylvania Senate has led to negotiations between the two chambers on statute of limitations reform to grow tense.

The offer, first reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer, includes a tribunal of state appeals judges tasked with handing out money from a defined fund, which a senate memo describes as “the most compensation a victim can receive in the timeliest manner possible.”

Any organization could pay in to settle child abuse cases. The panel would audit groups to determine how much funding each could reasonably offer, and victims would have one year to make claims.
Friday, October 12, 2018/Author: Kara Barmoy
Ending state car leases for legislators passes House with bipartisan support

Ending state car leases for legislators passes House with bipartisan support

The Pennsylvania House voted to get rid of their own state vehicle leases Monday, with supporters claiming it would be more cost effective and protect the state from liability, following a summer of bad press around a lawmaker’s driving.

“We’re not doing anything that would warrant having specialized state-owned vehicles,” Rep. Brad Roae (R-Crawford) said.

The bill, HB 482 sponsored by Roae, passed 140-44. Currently, 42 members of the General Assembly, including 27 members of the House, lease state vehicles. All leases in the House belong to Democrats, though members of the Senate GOP leadership also lease.
Monday, October 1, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
Corman on statute of limitations: "I’m just pointing out the glaring problems with the bill that prevent us from concurring."

Corman on statute of limitations: "I’m just pointing out the glaring problems with the bill that prevent us from concurring."

Soaring rhetoric and thunderous applause greeted the Pennsylvania House’s amendment of the civil window into a statute of limitations bill Monday.

"I don't give a damn if [abuse] happened 40 minutes ago or 40 years ago,” Rep. Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bucks) said on the floor to a round of cheers from fellow members and the gallery filled with victims of abuse.

After the amended SB 261 moved out of the House by a vote of 173-21 Tuesday however, the Senate expressed no desire to quickly concur on the legislation.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
Catholic Conference backs survivors fund ahead of expected vote on statute of limitations bill

Catholic Conference backs survivors fund ahead of expected vote on statute of limitations bill

In a release Friday evening, the church's Pennsylvania leadership, through their legislative wing the Catholic Conference, came out in favor of a voluntary fund managed by experts to disperse compensation to survivors of abuse by priests.

Friday, September 21, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
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