Cuomo, as part of a formal written agenda to be given to the Legislature Tuesday, said he wants to do away entirely with the statute of limitation that prohibits those who were abused as children from bringing criminal cases after their 23rd birthday.
Cuomo’s plan would also allow victims to bring civil lawsuits for 50 years after their attacks took place and would open up a one-year look-back window for survivors who under current law can no longer bring cases to do so.
In addition, the plan would treat public and private institutions the same by doing away with a current requirement that gives those abused in a school or other public entity only 90 days from the attack to notify of their intent to sue.
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"Child victims are one of the most vulnerable populations of this state,” Cuomo wrote in his message, a portion of which was obtained by the Daily News. “The outdated laws of New York do not adequately address the needs of these young victims.”
Cuomo has told advocates and the News, which made the issue a campaign in 2016, that the Child Victims Act would be a top priority for him in 2017.
While the issue is part of his overall agenda he plans to release later Wednesday, the governor never publicly mentioned it during his six regional State of the State addresses he gave this week.
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Kathryn Robb, a sexual abuse survivor and advocate who has regularly met with Cuomo’s office, told The News earlier this week she expects the governor to get a bill passed this year.
She added that “the governor serves the people first, and he does so not by the particular words in a speech, but more by the conviction in his heart and honor in his deeds. The new session is upon us. We trust he will lead us to justice."
The Child Victims Act has been around for over a decade. And while it had passed the state Assembly early on, it has never passed the Senate.
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Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan said last week it was too early to say whether it will reach the floor for a vote this year.
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