Share This Page

Lawmakers send 5 measures to Corbett targeting child abuse

| Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, 8:54 p.m.

HARRISBURG — The first bills in the Pennsylvania Legislature's wide-ranging response to the Jerry Sandusky and the Roman Catholic clergy scandals were sent on Wednesday to Gov. Tom Corbett, a year after a commission recommended sweeping changes to the state's child abuse laws.

The Senate unanimously approved five measures for Corbett, and a sixth was expected to get House approval next week. One bill headed to Corbett's desk would expand the definition of who investigators can consider a potential perpetrator of child abuse to include relatives who do not live in the same residence as the child and coaches or people who are in contact with children through community programs or activities.

Roughly 20 measures are part of the legislative package designed to overhaul the way child abuse is defined, investigated and punished in Pennsylvania.

Sen. LeAnna Washington, D-Philadelphia, a survivor of child abuse, said she is proud of the work that the Legislature has done.

“Passing this legislation will ensure that every case of suspected child abuse is properly investigated, bringing abusers to justice and helping families and victims heal,” Washington told colleagues.

Washington's bill, which also passed on Wednesday, would lower the threshold for the kind of injury to a child that could trigger child welfare workers to summon a medical examiner.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.