Advocates urge NY lawmakers to pass Child Victims Act

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A bill that seeks to protect New Yorkers who were the victims of abuse is stuck in the state Senate, but advocates on Long Island are fighting to get it passed.

The Child Victims Act would remove the statue of limitations that currently blocks child victims from pressing criminal or civil charges once they reach the age of 23. Gov. Andrew Cuomo supports the bill, but Republicans in the state Senate have refused to vote on the measure.

With just days left in the 2017 legislative session, Cuomo says it's not likely to become law. "There's been talk about a compromise bill, I've participated in those sessions, I'd be open to working on a compromise," he said, but added, "I'm not optimistic about passage of the Child Victims Act."

Supporters of the bill have been showing up at lawmakers' offices and are taking their movement to the internet. There's an online video campaign and a petition which has more than 70,000 signatures in support of the bill.

A spokesperson says Senate Republicans are looking at the issue and said in a statement, "Time and time again the Republican-led Senate has authored and approved common sense measures to protect children from sexual predators, and we will continue to do so. There are a number of similar proposals on this issue and they remain under review."

The legislative session is expected to close for the year on Wednesday. If the state Senate does not pass the bill, advocates will have to wait until next year before they get another chance to push for the legislation.

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