February 21 – While some people may be thinking, finally, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives will get back to work this week, it’s actually just a special session.
The only agenda item for the week is opening up the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse cases.
The current Speaker of the House, Mark Rozzi, has had this bill as a pet project for many years. He, himself is a victim of child sexual abuse.
Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “It really won’t be until next week that you see regular legislation getting to the floor for any kind of consideration. So presumably, they will spend today and the rest of the week doing nothing but this one, singular issue and it’s really not clear still where this thing lands. I think we’ll have a much better feel after today where the votes are with this, what route they’re going to go.”
Will the House even stay in session the rest of the week if they get the issue resolved early?
Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “This obsession by this one person over his own personal victimhood. Nobody would discount how horrible that was for him. Nobody discounts the horribleness of child sexual abuse. There is dispute. It is controversial. His solution, so called, justice and truth, which I think is going to bring a lot of lies and injustice unfortunately if you do away with the statute of limitations, but that’s a whole argument for another day. However allowing this one individual to have this much control over what’s going on in our state due to this one thing that he’s personally obsessed with, certainly Governor Wolf on his way out enabled this by saying we’re just going to call a special session just for this. So I blame the Democrats and their desire to control this whole power struggle for what’s going on now.”
Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM added, “And your personal agenda, Rozzi, sacrificing the state’s business, how sad and how selfish you must be. Sorry that you faced what you faced, but now you have to drag everybody in the state down this path with you? Selfish and despicable, if you ask me. The whole state’s got to suffer because of this?”
Jansen said, “When there’s no direct and quick, even with what he wants, nothing’s going to happen quickly anyway.”
Ryan said, “The whole week, that’s what we’ve got to do for you, Mark Rozzi. We’ve got to take care of you and the people in your circle.”
Jansen said, “And he’s holding a gun to the head of Republicans. You better do what I want or I’m just going to keep things–”
“So selfish,” Ryan said, “So, so selfish. Shame on you. You shouldn’t be a lawmaker.”
Barkdoll said, “Remember this is six weeks of this state of paralysis we’ve been in due to the maneuvering that he has called. So the House has not been in session all this time. No business is getting done.”
The PA Senate will be in recess until February 27.
Barkdoll suggested, “I don’t think the votes are necessarily in place to get done what Rozzi wants. Even if it passes the House, the Senate is saying they’re not going to approve standalone legislation on this and I don’t know how that gets reconciled. Rozzi is saying he’s not going to allow any other legislation to get to the floor until this issue is resolved. It’s not clear what that looks like.”
Ryan said, “Doesn’t deserve to be a Pennsylvania lawmaker at all. You’re supposed to represent all the people all the time.”
Jansen said, “This has been his focus all these years and I’ve always said he never should have been in charge of doing any kind of legislation for this.”
Ryan said, “This is what you’ve got to face in Pennsylvania.”