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Child Sex Abuse Statute Of Limitations Legislation Sails Through Pa. Senate

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — A bill addressing the statute of limitations in child sex abuse won quick approval in the Pennsylvania Senate Wednesday. But the fast-tracked measure faces the same problem that caused it to fail in the legislature’s last two-year session.

The state Senate voted 48 to 0 in favor of a bill that would abolish the criminal statute of limitations. But in the last session, the House and Senate could not agree on a provision regarding civil lawsuits. In addition to lengthening the time to file lawsuits in future cases, the House favored a provision that would open a window for past victims to file suits. The Senate bill omits such a provision. On Monday, when the bill received Senate committee approval, the spokesman for House majority Republicans, Steve Miskin, was asked if the sentiment of the chamber has changed.

“Right now, it’s unclear exactly where every one of our members is, but the votes last year were pretty overwhelming,” Miskin said. “I anticipate a very contentious discussion when that comes up again in the House.”

Many members of the Senate believe that the provision favored by the House violates the state constitution.

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