Fate of Clergy Abuse Bill in Limbo as Pennsylvania Senate Ends Session Without a Vote
By Angela Couloumbis and Liz Navratil
After a marathon day of negotiations Wednesday, Republican leaders in the Senate failed to push through a compromise on an emotionally charged bill aimed at helping older victims of clergy abuse gain the right to sue, leaving its fate in limbo as they wrapped up the last voting day of the legislative season.
Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R., Jefferson) said at a press conference inside his office shortly after 11 p.m. that he had tried to gather support for a plan that he believed would help victims seek justice, but that no one would meet him half way.
His plan would have allowed for a temporary reprieve in the statute of limitations so that older victims could sue their attackers — but not the institutions, such as the Catholic Church, that may have covered up the abuse.
"We are at a standstill," he said.