The Battle of House Bill 1947

There will be new developments in the Battle of House Bill 1947 today.

The legislation, which would extend the window for victims of child sexual abuse to file civil actions against their abusers and the institutions that employed them, has turned into a bitter standoff pitting the Archdiocese of Philadelphia against those pushing the measure, including several members of the Delaware County House delegation that supported the plan.

A Senate committee is expected to hold a hearing today on the bill. Both Attorney General Kathleen Kane and her top soldier, Solicitor General Bruce Castor, are expected to testify.

Some people believe Castor will indicate he does not think the measure is constitutional.

That also happens to be the belief of our Sunday columnist, Christine Flowers, who offered a strong condemnation of the bill, both on the grounds that it fails the constitutional question, as well as being unfair for setting up different standards for public and private institutions.

Also on Sunday, staff writer Kathleen Carey gave an extensive overview of the controversy surrounding the issue, including the belief of some local representatives that the archdiocese has crossed the line in opposing the measure. You can read Kathleen's entire piece here.

Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-126, of Berks County, himself a victim of abuse at the hands of a priest years ago, is among those pushing hardest for the measure. He offers a withering view of the archdiocese's actions in this whole saga.

Finally, I used my print column today to talk about the reaction I got from local reps Nick Miccarelli and Jamie Santora. Both Republicans are feeling the heat, both from the archdiocese and their own parishes, concerning their votes in favor of House Bill 1947. Miccarelli reached out to me last week after he was stunned to find his name casually dropped into the church bulletin at St. Rose of Lima in Eddsytine with a reminder to parishioners that he voted in favor of the piece.

Miccarelli was not amused. And he's not backing down either.

Santora has gone so far as to question whether the church has crossed the line.

We cover it all, and will continue to stay on top of today's developments.