Albany – I was disappointed that the State Senate failed to move the Child Victims Act out of committee this week, due to the unanimous opposition of its Minority members.
During this current legislative session, Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson has done an outstanding job of enlightening her colleagues about the vital importance of this bill. We were both looking forward to its debate and passage on the floor of the Senate this year, then for debate and adoption of the Child Victims Act once again by my colleagues in the Assembly.
It is a sad commentary that the opposing Senators in the committee acted to protect pedophiles who have raped and sodomized children by preventing the full Senate from debating this legislation.
Our Child Victims Act will provide the opportunity for sexual abuse victims to seek justice and it will expose pedophiles who continue to abuse children and those who knowingly shield them from accountability for their crimes.
This legislation has been adopted by the Assembly three times over the past five years and public support has continued to build for its passage with demonstrations, press conferences, petition drives and post card campaigns. Over the past year alone, thousands of grass roots New Yorkers signed an on-line petition and sent more than 62,000 messages to State legislators to say they want this bill to become law.
The New York State Assembly has passed this bill three times since 2006 and we were hopeful that it would move forward this session in the State Senate. I was happy to see the progress as the Codes Committee took up the bill for the first time ever in the Senate. Though we are disappointed in the outcome this week, everybody should know that both Senator Hassell-Thompson and I will continue to fight to make the Child Victims Act a law in the year ahead.