NY Legislature Fails to Pass Child Sexual Abuse Law

For the fifth year in a row, the New York State Legislature will fail to pass a <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/clergy_abuse">child sex abuse law that would have given victims more time to file suit against their abuser, as well as the institutions that may have enabled their abuse. According to The New York Times, the Child Victims Act was defeated in a Senate committee on Wednesday, a development which likely means the bill is dead for the remainder of this legislative session.

The measure was defeated by a 9-6 vote of the Senate Codes Committee. According to the Times, all of the committee’s Republican members, along with two Democrats, opposed the bill.

Those voting no included:

John J. Bonacic, Republican, 42nd District
Neil D. Breslin, Democrat, 48th District
John A. DeFrancisco, Republican, 50th District
John J. Flanagan, Republican, 2nd District
Martin J. Golden, Republican, 22nd District
Jeffrey D. Klein, Democrat, 34th District
Andrew J Lanza, Republican, 24th District
Stephen M. Saland, Republican, 41st District
Dale M. Volker, Republican, 59th District

Those voting yes included:

Thomas K. Duane, Democrat, 29th District
Kevin S. Parker, Democrat, 21st District
Bill Perkins, Democrat, 30th District
John L. Sampson, Democrat, 19th District
Eric T. Schneiderman, Democrat, 31st District
Daniel L. Squadron, Democrat, 25th District

Shirley L. Huntley, a Democrat from the 10th District, voted No Recommendation.

As we’ve reported previously, the Child Victims Act would have enacted a one-time, one-year suspension of the statute of limitations for sex abuse lawsuits. It has long been opposed by the Catholic Church and several Orthodox Jewish groups, who could have faced substantial liabilities had it been enacted. But it was hoped that new revelations about the Catholic Church hierarchy’s mishandling of abuse claims would spark more support for the bill.

Despite the defeat, the bill’s author, Assemblywoman Margaret Markey, a Queens Democrat, said even this setback represented progress.

“Our bill has never even come to a vote before in the Senate,” she said. “So we feel this was an important step.”

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