Summer recess for our legislators (and us) is over! The PA House will be back in session this coming week, which means they will be considering HB 1947 yet once again.
The history of this bill is a little complicated, but hang in with me so I can catch you up. It was passed overwhelmingly by the House 4/2016 after a compromise was worked out to make it possible for victims under 50 to be able to sue their abusers and the institutions the perps represented. Additionally, the bill totally eliminated the criminal time limits for all going forward.
Then HB 1947 went to the Senate, where it was severely amended, taking away much of the power of the original bill.
Now the badly amended bill is in the House Rules Committee. Advocates for #SOLReform, including FACSA, are pushing to have the bill reverted to the one that passed the House in April. We have no more than 9 legislative days to make these changes and get it back to the Senate for concurrence and then to Governor Wolf, who has stated he will sign it.
So- two press events are coming soon and we ask, if at all possible, for you to attend one or both, and please pass this on to friends and family. (There is a link at the bottom of the email that you can use to forward this email to others.)
1. Tuesday 9/20/16 | 10:30 AM | “Spotlight” Press Conference with PA Rep. Mark Rozzi, Spotlight’s Phil Saviano, Joe Crowley and Eric MacLeash | Philadelphia Sheraton Downtown | (MAP HERE)
The press conference follows an earlier panel discussion about the true story behind the movie focusing on the role of the media, the importance of civil remedies and obstacles created by statutes of limitation.
At the news conference, Rep. Mark Rozzi will give an update on H.B. 1947, discuss recent news about the dioceses of Allentown and Harrisburg and the importance of getting H.B. 1947, with a retroactive component, to the governor’s desk by end of the legislative session.
Participants in the news conference will include:
- Jeff Dion – abuse survivor and director of the National Crime Victim Bar Association (NCVBA);
- Jeffrey P. Fritz – Victim advocate, charter member and past president of NCVBA;
- Eric MacLeish – a Boston attorney depicted in “Spotlight” who represented hundreds of victims of sexual abuse by priests;
- Phil Saviano – a Catholic clergy abuse survivor, who was depicted in “Spotlight,” and long-time activist;
- Joe Crowley – a Boston survivor of Catholic clergy abuse, who also was depicted in “Spotlight;”
- Additional child sex abuse victims, their families and advocates.
Please spread the word and join us as we attempt a final push to get the original version of HB 1947 (that passed the House overwhelmingly in April) back onto the House Floor for a vote and onto the Senate for concurrence.
Also, if you happen to know a survivor or family member of any of the priests from the 2005 Philadelphia Grand Jury Report, please pass along this invitation. Also, if you have knowledge about where the priests are currently located, and especially if they live close by to where children congregate, please let Pam Oddo know by e-mail. Pam would also appreciate an RSVP if you can attend the press conference.
2. Tuesday 9/27/16 | 10 AM | Rep. Rozzi Press Conference at the Capitol Building- more info to come as to exact location. (MAP HERE)
Marie Whitehead firstname.lastname@example.org
Communication Coordinator for TEAM FACSA