Boy Scout Victim Bill Passes in the Nick of Time

(RADIO IOWA) Iowa lawmakers have been rushing to pass a bill that will help hundreds of Iowans get a full payment from a legal settlement for victims who were abused by Boy Scout leaders. * [RIkayscoutsbill1] :09 :the organization.” * (as said) “A $2.4 billion compensation fund was created for thousands of men who were molested as children by scoutmasters or other leaders in the organization. That’s Representative Ann Meyer, a Republican from Fort Dodge. She says the bill provides an exemption to the Iowa law that requires child sex abuse victims to file lawsuits by the time they reach the age of 19 — or within four years of when they realized they’d been abused. * [RIkayscoutsbill2] :14 :up to 70 percent.” * (as said) “If this is not addressed — the deadline is today — our claimants in Iowa, estimated to be between 300 and 700, their claim will be reduced up to 70%,” Meyer says. Representative Timi (like “Timmy”) Brown-Powers, a Democrat from Waterloo, says hundreds of Iowa men who were victimized are counting on the legislature to act and she used to work with one of them. * [RIkayscoutsbill4] :08 :allowed them.” * (as said) “Now he’s 70 years old and he deserves to have an end to this,” Brown-Powers said. “All we need to do is to make sure he is allowed that.”

Joe Gargano (gar-GAY-noh) is one of dozens of Iowa men who’ve alleged they were abused as children by Boy Scout leaders. There’s a national fund to pay thousands of victims, but Iowa has a time limit on suing perpetrators of childhood sexual abuse. An attorney familiar with the payment process says if the Iowa House doesn’t pass a bill today (Friday) to waive that deadline, Gargano and up to 350 other Iowans will get a fraction of what they’re owed. * [KVFDgargano1] :15 :fighting right now.” * (as said) ” I know what it did to me. It devastated my life into a world of self medication for years and years,” Gargano says. “It’s over 20 years now and by the grace of God…that’s why I’m here. That’s why I’m fighting right now.” The Iowa Senate passed a bill to ensure Gargano and other former Boy Scouts in Iowa owed settlements get the entire payment.

The governor says she’ll sign the bill into law today (Friday). It passed the Senate unanimously 10 days ago. The House passed the bill today (Friday) on a 90 to one vote, but House members made an adjustment to the bill. Representative Charley Thomson of Charles City says the change makes the legislature’s intent clear. * [RIkayscoutsbill5] :14 :set of circumstances.” * (as said) “While it is not normally not the policy of the State of Iowa or the General Assembly to waive or make exceptions to statutes of limitation, we are doing so in this very rare set of circumstances,” Thomson said. Thomson says without the change, there was a good chance someone would sue to block the bill from becoming law.

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