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State House passes sexual assault bills drafted in wake of Larry Nassar scandal

The Michigan House of Representatives in Lansing
Lester Graham
/
Michigan Radio file photo
The chamber of Michigan's House of Representatives in Lansing. Leaders in the Michigan legislature and Governor Granholm are close to an agreement on the budget.

More than two dozen bills aimed at combating sexual assault passed the state House today. The bills range from tightening documentation requirements for physicians to increasing education in schools about sexual misconduct.

Lawmakers say the legislation is a big step forward. But others say there’s still more work to be done to combat sexual assault in the state.

Rep. Klint Kesto, R-Commerce Twp., is chair of a House committee that worked on the bills.

“We’re willing to do more to address all of the situations that are out there," he said. "It’s complex, our laws are volumes and volumes long, so we have to make sure that we continue to be diligent.”

All of the bills are headed for the state Senate. Some just need a final vote there. While others will have to go through the Senate committee process before getting a full vote.

“As we get closer to making these policies a reality, I know in my heart and my mind that we are doing the right thing to prevent sexual assault, protect survivors and hold perpetrators accountable,” said Rep. Stephanie Chang, D-Detroit, who sits on the committee that passed the bills.

The legislation comes as Michigan continues to grapple with the Larry Nassar scandal. Nassar is the former Michigan State University sports doctor who sexually assaulted his patients under the guise of treatment for decades.

  

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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