Effort by PA Dems to debate Sandusky resolution gets blocked


In the end, House Democrats were unable to bring up for debate a controversial resolution calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate Gov. Corbett's handling (when he was state Attorney General) of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal.

Republicans who control the chamber on Monday were able, through parliamentary maneuvers, to render the resolution moot and thereby shut down any possibility of debate.

For those who may have missed it, the House Ds had tried last week to force discussion on the measure through something called a discharge resolution. Almost as soon as it was brought up though, Republican House Speaker Sam Smith (R., Jefferson) quickly adjourned for the day, raising the possibility that the issue could shut down the chamber's remaining session days this year.

But after some spirited back-and-forth today, the House Rs prevailed.

The resolution was introduced nearly a year ago, but had been stuck in the House Rules committee, which is chaired by House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R., Allegheny).

Corbett, a Republican, has repeatedly defended his office's investigation into Sandusky. He has explained that a child sexual abuse investigation takes time, and that the pace is determined first and foremost by witnesses' willingness to come forward. Ever more so in the case of someone like Sandusky, who was prominent in the State College community, the governor has said.

In the end, eight young accusers testified and helped convict Sandusky as a result of the investigation begun under Corbett's watch as attorney general, the post he left to become governor in January 2011.

Sandusky, 68, was sentenced last week to 30 to 60 years in prison, which at his age is effectively a life sentence.

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