The Child Victims Act has been one of the sticking points for state lawmakers as this year's legislative session comes to a close. Now legislative leaders say the issue may be off the table.
The Senate will not vote on a bill that would expand the statute of limitations that would make it easier for sexual abuse victims to file lawsuits, Majority Leader John Flanagan said after a closed-door meeting with legislative leaders and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“It’s under discussion, but the Senate is not going to be taking that bill up,” he said while being trailed by reporters.
Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein added the bill was not discussed in the meeting.
The bill’s potential demise comes a day before lawmakers are scheduled to adjourn the legislative session for the remainder of the year.
The Democratic-led Assembly has passed the bill and Cuomo last week introduced the same version of it as a program bill. But the measure has faced a steep uphill climb in the Senate. The Catholic Church and other groups, including the Boy Scouts, have signaled their opposition to it.
The development is sure to disappoint advocates and lawmakers who had pushed for the legislation and urged Cuomo to take a firmer role in its passage this week.
“The governor said in January that he wanted to see the Child Victims Act pass this year and we have been depending on his leadership to force the hand of the Senate,” said Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, a Democrat from Manhattan. “He’s done it with the SAFE Act, he’s done it with same-sex marriage. He’s done it with any number of issues where he professes to wanting to get it done.”