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Scarnati continues to oppose window of opportunity law for abuse survivors

Deb Erdley
| Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, 5:03 p.m.
Pennsylvania Sen. Joe Scarnati
Natalie Cake/Roxbury News
Pennsylvania Sen. Joe Scarnati

Our friends at Capitolwire snared a sit down this week with Pennsylvania Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati, R-Brookville.

Scarnati chalked up headlines earlier this fall as the man who blocked a bill granting adult sexual abuse survivors an opportunity to sue their abusers outside of the statute of limitations.

The Senate’s leading Republican still isn’t happy about the spirited debate that lasted until near midnight of the Senate’s final session day.

“I continue to say that it became more about elections and campaigns than it did about getting the issue done. Now, we’re past the elections, we’re past the campaigns. Victims need to be compensated, so I’m very pleased to see what the dioceses are doing, and I think that the issue should maybe become a bit more civil and a bit more respectful of other’s positions,” Scarnati told Capitolwire Bureau Chief Chris Comisac.

Although regional dioceses across the state have announced the launch of compensation funds to pay reparations to survivors whose abuse occurred years ago, victim advocates insist that falls short of holding the church accountable.

While they aren’t discouraging survivors from applying to the funds, they continue to call for a bill that would give adults barred by the statute of limitations an opportunity to take their abusers to court. Scarnati, however, remained adamant that he’ll oppose such a move if the bill that passed the House by a large margin comes back to the Senate in the same form.

Deb Erdley is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Deb at 412-320-7996, or via Twitter @deberdley_trib.

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