By David Brand
A new state law closes a child abuse reporting loophole by compelling private school bus drivers to report suspected abuse. The legislation was signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo Tuesday, a day before the Child Victims Act opens a one-year lookback window that enables victims of childhood sexual abuse to sue their abusers.
The legislation was sponsored by Queens Assemblymember Cathy Nolan and builds on existing law that made public school bus drivers mandated reporters.
“We are taking an important step in protecting children in all of New York's schools from abuse,” Nolan said. “This legislation ensures that all students are protected by requiring all school administrators, superintendents and those who provide transportation services, to report allegations of child abuse.”
Cuomo said lawmakers will “continue to do everything in our power to protect our young people.”
The lookback window that opens Wednesday will allow victims of child sex abuse to sue their abusers and the organizations and institutions that abetted the abuse.
Attorneys say they are set to file thousands of cases in the coming days against religious institutions, including the Catholic Church, as well as organizations like the Boy Scouts of America.