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beall.JPGThe Assembly Appropriations Committee resurrected a bill extending the statute of limitations for some sex abuse victims after it failed last week amid fierce lobbying.

Senate Bill 131 by Jim Beall, D-San Jose, would open a one-year window for victims who were excluded from a 2003 law that extended the time during which sexual abuse victims can file a civil lawsuit.

Opponents have argued that the bill unfairly excludes public agencies, such as school districts, and instead only revives abuse claims against private institutions, such as the Catholic Church and Boy Scouts.

An umbrella organization of groups like the California Catholic Conference and California Association of Private School Organizations spent $250,000 in the fist six months of this year to fight the bill.

SB 131 fell three votes short in the Assembly Appropriations Committee last week after six of Beall's fellow Democrats did not vote. Beall asked for reconsideration and, despite no recent amendments, it passed on Wednesday 11-3 with three members not voting. SB 131 is now headed to the full Assembly for a floor vote.

PHOTO: Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, during session in the Senate chambers in March. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua



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