ALBANY, N.Y. (WKBW) - It appears the controversial Child Victims Act will not be included in the New York State Budget.
State lawmakers tell 7 Eyewitness News Senate Republicans failed to vote to include the act in the budget.
The Child Victims Act protects children who have been sexually abused. It extends the legal timeframe for a child to bring civil and criminal charges against their abuser. Currently, children have only five years after they turn 18 to report the abuse to authorities.
Perhaps the most controversial issue some lawmakers had with the CVA was the one year "lookback" clause. This would allow children who have been abused one year to report the abuse, which could span back decades.
State Senator Tim Kennedy voted no on the budget bill, specifically because the CVA was not included. Below is his statement.
"New York failed survivors of sexual abuse. The Senate Majority once again refused to stand up for victims and allow them to seek the justice they deserve. The Child Victims Act, a critical reform that would extend the statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse victims and provide legal recourse for those abused in the past, was glaringly missing from the state's Public Protection and General Government budget bill. This omission is shameful, especially at a time when disturbing cases of abuse continue to come to light across Western New York. New Yorkers overwhelmingly support this long overdue reform, and as elected officials we are supposed to represent the voice of the people, which is why I voted no on this bill. The Senate Majority chose to protect predators over protecting our children tonight, and I'll continue to fight alongside survivors until justice is delivered."
Republican State Senator Patrick Gallivan had this to say.
“I certainly support doing everything necessary to prevent the sexual victimization of children and to hold those who commit these heinous acts accountable.In addition to the work the Senate has already advanced toward that end, I co-sponsor legislation (S4809) extending the criminal and civil statutes of limitation in these matters.I will continue to work with my Senate colleagues in an effort to pursue comprehensive and meaningful reform as part of the regular legislative process.”
Republican State Senator Chris Jacobs sent the following statement.
"The Child Victims Act was not included in the State Budget because it was not related to anything dealing with the revenues and expenses of state operations. I am very confident that we will take up legislation soon dealing with this very important issue of extending the statute of limitations, both criminal and civil, for victims of childhood sexual abuse."