Scarnati: “The only oath that we take around here is to uphold the constitution"

Scarnati: “The only oath that we take around here is to uphold the constitution"

After Rep. Mark Rozzi (D-Berks) came forward on Friday with a proposal from the Senate that didn’t include the civil window, questions arose about whether or not Senate Bill 261 would pass this session.

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) on Tuesday afternoon stated that, “It’s been my goal all along to get a product out of here and over to the House before we leave on Wednesday.”

Tuesday, October 16, 2018/Author: Kara Barmoy
Categories: Video
As abuse victims line hallways, debate rages behind closed doors over civil window

As abuse victims line hallways, debate rages behind closed doors over civil window

With a well-tailored pinstripe suit, white pocket square and small black ribbon pin, Arthur Baselice stood sentinel by the door to the office of Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson).

Quietly, the former Philadelphia police detective held a sign with a picture of his son, Arthur III, and the two priests who abused him as a high schooler. The younger Arthur ended up dying of a drug overdose while attempting to deal with the trauma.

Occasionally wiping away tears, occasionally profane, Baselice, one of dozens of survivors to fill the Senate Monday, relayed his belief that the Senate needed to pass SB 261. The bill sponsored by Scarnati was amended in the House to include an option Scarnati calls unconstitutional and opposes: the civil window.

Monday, October 15, 2018/Author: Kara Barmoy
Civil window debate snarls up grand jury report response

Civil window debate snarls up grand jury report response

A preliminary offer from the Pennsylvania Senate that does not allow for retroactive civil suits has strained negotiations on the legislative response to the grand jury report.

The offer, first reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer, includes a tribunal of state appeals judges tasked with handing out money from a defined fund, which a senate memo describes as “the most compensation a victim can receive in the timeliest manner possible.”

Any organization could pay in to settle child abuse cases. The panel would audit groups to determine how much funding each could reasonably offer, and victims would have one year to make claims.
Friday, October 12, 2018/Author: Kara Barmoy
Statute of limitations negotiations near finish line as arguments over sovereign immunity continue

Statute of limitations negotiations near finish line as arguments over sovereign immunity continue

A compromise on the General Assembly’s statute of limitations bill is due the end of this week and will be officially announced next week, according to Rep. Mark Rozzi (D-Berks).

Rozzi has been meeting privately with Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) for the past few weeks to negotiate the language in closed door discussions.

However, multiple lawmakers expressed their certainty that the bill would pass before the elections, adding to next week’s final push by both chambers to move legislation ahead of Nov. 6.
Thursday, October 11, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
Catholic Conference backs survivors fund ahead of expected vote on statute of limitations bill

Catholic Conference backs survivors fund ahead of expected vote on statute of limitations bill

In a release Friday evening, the church's Pennsylvania leadership, through their legislative wing the Catholic Conference, came out in favor of a voluntary fund managed by experts to disperse compensation to survivors of abuse by priests.

Friday, September 21, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
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