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Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Senate pulls plans to vote on church abuse bill

| Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018, 10:54 p.m.

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania’s Senate pulled plans to vote Wednesday night on legislation to respond to a state grand jury report accusing hundreds of Roman Catholic priests of sexually abusing children over decades.

Republican senators said they didn’t expect a vote Wednesday night, the final scheduled voting day of 2018.

Senate Republican leaders had opposed a provision recommended by the grand jury to give adult victims a two-year reprieve from time limits in state law that otherwise bar them from suing perpetrators and institutions that covered it up.

The provision is backed by Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Gov. Tom Wolf, the House of Representatives, Senate Democratic leaders and victim advocates.

Top Senate Republicans had called it unconstitutional. Then they considered letting victims sue still-surviving perpetrators, but not institutions.

Shapiro opposed that, and House Republican leader Dave Reed warned his chamber would reject it.

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