The New York Senate failed to vote on a bill that would have expanded the statute of limitations for reporting child sexual abuse.
The Child Victims Act would have eliminated the criminal statute of limitations for several types of sex crimes against children and allowed victims a one-year window during which they could pursue civil suits against perpetrators.
State senators voted 30-29 on May 23 to prevent the bill from coming to a vote.
Lobbyists for the Roman Catholic Church strongly opposed the bill. According to the New York Daily News, the Catholic Conference, which is headed by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, spent $2.1 million from 2007 to 2015 lobbying against reforms to child sex abuse laws in New York.
In 2009, a Catholic Conference spokesman told The New York Times, “We believe this bill is designed to bankrupt the Catholic Church.”
Melanie Blow of the Stop Abuse Campaign criticized the church’s actions.
“They are willing to spend limitless money in order to basically keep bad guys from being accountable for their actions,” Blow told the Daily News. “I think they’re doing it because they don’t want to have to pay out settlements.”