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Bill to extend statute of limitations for child sexual abuse survivors sits in state Senate

harrisburg_protest.jpg
Marc Levy
/
AP

On today’s episode of The Confluence: 

Rep. Mark Rozzi says his legislation would allow survivors of child sexual abuse outside the statute of limitations to have their day in court
(0:00 - 7:43)

A measure to extend the statute of limitations for survivors of child sexual abuse to sue their alleged abusers is held up in the Senate as Majority Leader Kim Ward questions its constitutionality.

State Rep. Mark Rozzi authored this legislation, which temporarily lifts the legal time limit for survivors of child sexual abuse to sue their abusers. The state already does allow anyone who says they were abused as a child to come to court with a civil lawsuit before age 55.

“For her [Senator Ward] to be blocking this on the ground that it's unconstitutional, which she's clueless on, she has no idea whether it's constitutional or not. I don't know. That's why the Supreme Court has to make that decision. It’s just irresponsible to the children and the citizens of this commonwealth,” says Rozzi.

Gov. Tom Wolf says he can raise the issue in a special session, but he has not said when that might take place. 

A play about the woman rumored to be Shakespeare’s ‘Dark Lady,’ a writer herself, is being performed at the University of Pittsburgh
(7:48 - 14:24)

Emilia Bassano was a writer of Shakespeare’s era, and one of the first English women to publish her own collection of poetry.

Her life has been adapted for the stage in the play “Emilia,” which is currently running at the University of Pittsburgh.

“She was a descendant of court musicians and Queen Elizabeth's court, and was a writer, and a prolific writer of her time,” says director Bria Walker, an assistant professor in Theatre Arts at the University of Pittsburgh. “Being published as a woman during her time was very much a feat and very rare.”

The play is running through Saturday, April 16.

Will the Pirates have a better season this year? It remains unclear.
(14:27 - 22:30)

After a series in St. Louis to begin the 2022 baseball season, the Pirates will host the Cubs in their home opener Tuesday. After losing 101 games versus 61 wins last season, is there much hope for improvement this year?

“This is an awful team that's designed to be such,” says Sean Gentille, senior writer for The Athletic.

Fans have criticized owner Bob Nutting for years for having such a low payroll, not giving the team a chance to compete short. That might be exemplified by this one statistic: Pitcher Max Scherzer signed a contract with the New York Mets that will pay him $43.3 million this season. He plays one out of five days as the starting pitcher. The entire Pirate Major League roster’s payroll is about $45 million.

“That is where a lot of the negativity towards Nutting comes into play. It's not just that this is a rebuilding team, it's that the payroll is so comically, grotesquely low that I think is, I think is what really makes it next level,” says Gentille.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in Monday to Thursday at 9 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts. 

Kevin Gavin is the host of WESA's news interview program "The Confluence." He is a native Pittsburgher and served as news director for 90.5 WDUQ for 34 years. Since the sale of the radio station by Duquesne University to Pittsburgh EPM, Inc. (now Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corp.), he served as Executive Producer of Special News Projects prior to being named as host of "The Confluence" five years ago. kgavin@wesa.fm
Marylee is the editor/producer of The Confluence, the daily public affairs show on WESA. She got her start in journalism at The Daily Reveille and KLSU while attending Louisiana State University. She took her passion for audio journalism to UC Berkeley's graduate program and worked in public radio at WPR in Madison, WI, and WOSU in Columbus, Ohio.
Laura Tsutsui is a producer for The Confluence, WESA's morning news show. Previously, she reported on the San Joaquin Valley with the NPR affiliate station in her hometown of Fresno, California. She can be reached at ltsutsui@wesa.fm.
Boen Wang is a writer, audio producer, and MFA candidate in creative writing at the University of Pittsburgh. His written work appeared in The Sunday Long Read, The Fourth River, Inheritance, and elsewhere; his audio work won the “Best New Artist” award at the 2020 Third Coast International Audio Festival, was selected as one of The Bello Collective’s “100 Outstanding Podcasts of 2020,” and was shortlisted for the 2021 HearSay Audio Festival Prize. Visit his website at boen.cool.
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