Rabb votes ‘No’ on H.B. 14, saying legislation that would amend PA constitution should have a public hearing in that term

HARRISBURG, Jan. 27 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., today voted against a measure that would allow victims of childhood sexual abuse for whom the statute of limitations has expired a two-year window during which they could file a civil lawsuit, saying he does not take issue with the objective of the legislation, rather that legislation that would amend the state constitution should have a public hearing.

“I am elated at the passage of the House Bill 14, however, I’m saddened that I had to vote against it – not because I opposed the bill itself, but due to my consistent outcry against running legislation that amends the state constitution without the majority caucus convening at least one public hearing in each legislative term in which such legislation is introduced,” Rabb said. “Integrity matters most when the stakes are highest. I take no joy in being the only Democrat in the House to vote against my colleague, Representative Mark Rozzi’s bill. He’s a man I have sat next to for four years on the House floor. His personal story of sexual abuse at the hands of a priest has both enraged me and opened my eyes to the evil that we as a society have permitted to endure for generations.

“This is a bittersweet moment for me as someone who supports victims’ rights – and this legislation in particular – and who believes that process matters, too,” Rabb said. “Whether a bill is a good one, like House Bill 14, or a reckless one, like House Bill 38, which would create judicial gerrymandering, if they seek to amend our constitution, public hearings should be held for the benefit of all stakeholders before they are voted on.”

Rabb commended Rozzi, D-Berks, who spoke during the House session on Wednesday in support of H.B. 14, citing his own experience as a survivor of clergy sexual abuse in his adolescence.

Rabb looks forward to continuing his work with Rozzi on other important legislation including dignity in death and cannabis policy measures.