Stop SB 131

August 23, 2013, Vol. 6, No. 26 – Special Edition
En Espańol 

Stop SB 131 – Unjust Bill Discriminates Against Victims, Targets Private Employers
Procedural Maneuver Moves Unfair Bill to Assembly Floor

Having failed in committee just one week ago, SB 131 was “reconsidered” on Wednesday and this time passed through a procedural maneuver that did not call for a roll call vote by committee members!   After this move, opposition rose sharply, especially among some legislators.

Now that the bill is headed to the Assembly floor, parishes across the Golden State will be distributing information beginning this weekend that invites parishioners to signal their objections to this controversial bill.  Other private organizations that oppose SB 131 are doing the same.

Even if you have already sent an email, PLEASE URGE YOUR ASSEMBLY MEMBER AGAIN TO NOT VOTE OR VOTE “NO” ON SB 131.  This is a new voting round.  Assembly Members need to hear from you today!

Katcho Achadjian’s email:

His SLO office:   (805) 549-3381

There are not two classes of victims; there should not be two classes of justice.

SB 131 (Beall, D-San Jose) is a controversial measure that would temporarily eliminate the civil statute of limitations for a select minority of child abuse victims – but prevent the overwhelming majority of victims from ever getting their day in court.  It barely passed the Senate and is struggling in the Assembly.

The bill says one thing and does another.  It says it helps victims and protects children when in reality it does nothing for most victims, nothing to most abusers and makes a mockery of equal protection under the law.

  • SB 131 will prevent most of today’s victims from ever getting their day in court.  Victims who were abused by teachers or other public school workers are not covered by the bill.  Public schools cannot be sued for any abuse that took place before 2009.
  • SB 131 protects the actual abuser from being sued.  The change in statute of limitations only applies to private or non-profit employers like the YMCA or the Church.  It does not apply to public schools, other public agencies or even to the perpetrator.
  • SB 131 only applies to private and non-profit employers – like private schools, the Catholic Church, the YMCA, Little League and other, similar organizations.
  • SB 131 does nothing to increase criminal penalties against the actual abuser.  The bill increases penalties on private employers, but not on the perpetrator himself.  SB 131 proposes no increase in prison time, and more importantly, no increase in the criminal statute of limitations that would let victims get the justice they deserve.

The California legislature already passed a similar measure 10 years ago which eliminated the statute of limitation for a one year window (2003) resulting in lawsuits against private and Catholic employers – some of which dated back more than 50 years.  SB 131 would restart that process again.

The California Catholic Conference is opposing this bill, along with the YMCA/YWCA, Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU), the California Association of Private School Organizations (CAPSO), the California Council of Nonprofit Organizations and other religious organizations and private schools.
Thank you for taking action on this unjust bill.

Call for fairness in treating abuse victims by telling your Assembly Member to vote NO on SB 131.

Posted August 24, 2013