FOX43 Capitol Beat: State Rep. Jim Gregory talks statute of limitations reform

YORK, Pa. -- Two bills which would reform Pennsylvania's statute of limitations laws and make it easier for survivors of child sex abuse to file lawsuits are scheduled for votes this week in Harrisburg.

One bill would start the process of amending the state's constitution to allow a two-year retroactive window to allow victims to sue their abusers.

Its prime sponsor, freshman State Representative Jim Gregory, a Republican from Blair County, visited FOX43 to discuss the legislation with FOX43 Morning News anchor Matt Maisel on theĀ FOX43 Capitol Beat.

Gregory, himself a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of two teens when he was 10 years old, joins State Rep. Mark Rozzi (D-Berks) in bringing statute of limitations reform bills to the House floor. Rozzi's bill would eliminate the criminal statute on sex abuse crimes, and give future victims until the age of 55 to file civil lawsuits. Current law allows survivors until 30 years old to go after criminal charges and 50 years old to file lawsuits.

Both bills are expected to pass through the House Judiciary committee on Monday and get voted through the State House this week.

The decision to try and reform the commonwealth's statute of limitations laws using two bills is in stark contrast of the previous two sessions. Legislation was held up in the Senate after its President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati claimed the ability to retroactively sue one's abuser was unconstitutional.

Because Gregory's bill (HB 963) would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution, it need to pass the legislature on two consecutive sessions and then pass a ballot referendum vote in 2021 at the earliest.

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