House Speaker Mark Rozzi announced Sunday that the first of his planned listening tour sessions is scheduled for Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the Simmons Auditorium at the Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business in Pittsburgh.
The Muhlenberg Township Democrat said he will be joined by members of the bipartisan Speaker’s Workgroup to Move Pennsylvania Forward, a group of six House members convened to create bipartisan operating rules for the House and work to break partisan gridlock in Harrisburg to swiftly address justice for survivors of sexual assault.
Other participants will include representatives from interested groups and survivors of childhood sexual assault to discuss how to improve House operations and their belief in the importance of providing the opportunity for survivors of childhood sexual assault to get the justice they deserve. The public is invited and will be able to speak during a public comment period at the end of the session.
Rozzi, who was elected speaker on Jan. 3 in a surprise move, announced the listening tour last week in response to disputes in the House that have prevented it from beginning work this session. The disagreement has to do with rules that must be crafted and approved before legislative activity can begin.
The spaker said his listening tour is intended to get input from state residents on possible solutions to the stalemate.
Rozzi has said that the broken state of the House threatens to derail a pending constitutional amendment that would deliver justice to the victims of childhood sexual abuse by opening a two-year window for litigation by survivors who have aged out of the statute of limitations.
That’s an issue Rozzi, who was raped by a priest as a teen, has been fighing for since first taking office 10 years ago.
“It is my hope that at the conclusion of this tour we will have a clear idea on how best to heal the divides in Harrisburg, what a fair set of House rules should include and a plan to finally get survivors of childhood sexual assault the justice and truth that they so desperately deserve,” Rozzi said last week.
Source: Berkshire mont