MEDIA, Pa., Oct. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Protect PA Kids, a newly formed political action committee (PAC), has released a voter's guide for the general election on Nov. 4. The guide designates state representatives and state senators as "protectors" if they were the primary sponsor of a recent bill helpful to child protection. Those who blocked important bills that would abolish or reform the statute of limitations (SOL) for child sex abuse are also noted.
The PAC is nonpartisan and not connected to any organization, candidate or ballot measure. "Common sense measures to protect children are not always championed and can even face opposition," says founder Susan Matthews. "Lobbyists for financially-driven issues drown out the voices of grandparents, parents, law enforcement officials and advocates. As a PAC, we want to leverage our collective resources on their behalf. We want to support candidates who are working hard to protect our children and hold those who aren't accountable."
Working with advocacy groups and public records, the PAC chose 19 "protectors." Four received honorable mentions. Rep. Mark Rozzi (D-Berks - part) and Sen. Anthony Williams (D-Delaware - part and Philadelphia - part) were both honored with the PA Kid Protector Award. Two representatives were designated as SOL reform "bill blockers": Rep. Thomas R. Caltagirone (D-Berks - part) and Rep. Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin - part).
While the PAC focuses on issues ranging from teen driving laws to educator background checks, they've prioritized SOL reform. "Child predators could be living in your community because some victims can't seek justice due to the current SOL," says Matthews. "The 'bill blockers' may say the current ages of 30 for civil and 50 for criminal are adequate. But what they don't mention is that recourse doesn't apply to all victims whose abuse happened prior to 2002 and 2007 respectively, when those statute extensions were enacted. Our state representatives and senators shouldn't be concerned about whether a particular bill will lead to the financial duress of institutions, will cause insurers liability, give victims false hope or allow lawyers to profit. They should act on behalf of voters and children."
Delaware, Minnesota, Illinois, Massachusetts and other states have already enacted SOL reforms. "With institutional cover-ups making headlines, including those involving Penn State and The Archdiocese of Philadelphia, isn't it time for Pennsylvania to do the same?" asks Matthews. "By identifying predators, reform would help protect children from becoming future victims."
The PAC was unable to include the candidates for governor because both missed the deadline to answer questions from the Center for Children's Justice. To see the full Voter's Guide, please visit www.ProtectPAKids.com.
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SOURCE Protect PA Kids