HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania's Legislature is closer to settling a years-long battle over lifting criminal and civil statutes for child sexual abuse crimes in a debate growing out of Roman Catholic Church scandals.
The Republican-controlled state Senate on Wednesday night rejected efforts to temporarily dissolve time limits in state law that bar now-adult victims of child sexual abuse from suing their abusers and institutions that may have covered it up.
Instead, the Senate approved a bill beginning the multi-year process of seeking to amend Pennsylvania's Constitution to allow a two-year window for lawsuits to be filed by now-adult victims who are barred by law from suing.
Senators also passed a measure relaxing criminal and civil statutes of limitations in sexual abuse cases where children and young adults are the victims.
The House has previously approved the bills' core elements.
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