HARRISBURG – Following the return of the legislature, Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday renewed his call-to-action for the General Assembly to prioritize and deliver to his desk various outstanding and stalled legislative reforms to empower, protect, and support victims of crime, abuse and harassment.
“The time is right to take action and to pass these critical reforms,” said Wolf. “We can right this wrong by eliminating the statute of limitations for the future, strengthening systems for the abused, and providing victims with the window for real justice in our legal system.”
During the current legislative session, Wolf has publicly supported and urged passage of dozens of bills to protect, empower and support victims and reduce crime.
These proposals include:
- Child Sexual Abuse: Wolf has urged action on the four recommendations of the statewide grand jury into clergy sexual abuse that would eliminate the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse and allow for survivors of child sexual abuse to file civil claims against their abusers and the institutions that enabled them.
- Domestic Violence: Since 2017, Wolf has pushed for a package of bipartisan Senate bills to combat domestic violence and protect survivors. Only one bill has reached his desk.
- Sexual Assault: Wolf unveiled a bipartisan “It’s On Us” legislative package in September of 2017. These bills would focus on empowering and protecting victims of sexual assault, especially on college and high school campuses.
- Gun Violence: Wolf has supported many bills to reduce violence and protect individuals from becoming victims of gun crimes, including taking guns more swiftly from domestic abusers and creating a new red-flag emergency order to keep guns away from dangerous individuals.
- Sexual Harassment: Wolf and legislative Democrats introduced nearly two dozen bills to combat sexual harassment and improve treatment of victims. None of them received a vote with House Republicans who opted instead to further study the issue.
- Hate Crimes and Discrimination: Members of the LGBTQ community in Pennsylvania lack protections from discrimination and hate crimes, which means victims have inadequate recourse in the face of violence and discrimination. Wolf has supported these changes since taking office.
- Human Trafficking: Wolf supports Senator Greenleaf’s SB 554, Safe Harbor legislation to protect the child victims of human trafficking from being prosecuted for crimes they were forced to commit. The bill awaits action in the House.
- Hazing: Wolf has long-supported the Pennsylvania Timothy J. Piazza Law to give law enforcement the tools they need to hold people accountable and we must ensure schools have proper safeguards to protect students and curb these practices. The bill awaits action in the House.
“Pennsylvania has already shown that it is at the forefront of the states willing to take these issues seriously. Now is the time for Pennsylvania to take real actions,” Wolf said.
Monday evening Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf joined with Attorney General Josh Shapiro and victims at the Capitol Building to rally in support of the grand jury recommendations and to call on the General Assembly to advance several outstanding bills that support victims of crime and abuse.