BUFFALO, N.Y. — New York State Assemblymember Monica Wallace (D-143), is sponsoring a bill in the State Legislature that would legally require members of the clergy to report instances of child abuse and mistreatment. Assembly Bill A6662B, also known as the Child Abuse Reporting Expansion Act, adds religious leaders of all denominations to the list of people like school employees who must report abuse when there is "reasonable cause."
2 On Your Side spoke with Assemblymember Wallace about the legislation and she specifically mentioned wanting to make sure future cases of abuse were reported.
"We need to look at what happened and say this can never happen again. We need to make sure that clergy and priests from every denomination are added to the list, the very very long lists, of mandatory reporters that already exist in New York law," she said in a Zoom interview with 2 On Your Side.
Most recently the legislation was referred to the committee of Children and Families. Wallace specifically mentioned preventing patterns of clergy being moved from place to place as allegations have been brought to someone’s attention.
2 On Your Side specifically asked if there were plans to extend the Child Victims Act again, past the current August deadline. Wallace said based on conversations with her colleagues, she expects the CVA will expire when it’s supposed to. She elaborated by saying this was the main reason she wants her bill to move forward when the legislative session begins.