A perennial proposal that has been quashed in past years by Republicans who controlled the State Senate, the bill is now widely supported by the new Democratic majority in that chamber, and for the first time is given a good chance of passing.
If signed by Gov. David A. Paterson, a longtime supporter, the bill would at minimum revive hundreds of claims filed in recent years against Catholic priests and dioceses in New York, but dismissed because they were made after the current time limit, which is five years after the accuser turns 18. Similar legislation has passed in Delaware and in California, where a 2003 law led to claims that have cost the church an estimated $800 million to $1 billion in damages and settlements.
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