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Politics & Government

Senate committee plans to move remaining Nassar bills

Larry Nassar
Jodi Westrick
Michigan Radio

State lawmakers expect to hold a key vote on the remaining bills in response to Larry Nassar this week. Nassar is the former Michigan State University sports doctor in prison for sexually assaulting his patients.

The legislature has introduced dozens of bills lawmakers say would improve the state’s sexual assault laws. Two of those bills are on their way to the governor.

The rest of the bills will likely be voted out of a Senate committee this week.

One of the bills in front of the committee would add physical therapists and their assistants to the list of professions required to report suspected child abuse. The legislation originally included more professions, but those were taken out in a House committee.

But now the Senate has the bills. And state Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, said he’s going to make at least one change.

“I think it is senseless to not have paid coaches be mandated reporters.”

Jones says he plans to make the change during a committee hearing this week. Jones is chair of the committee the bills are in front of. He said he also plans to hold a vote on the bills this week.

Republican Representative Klint Kesto worked on the bills in the House. He said after hearing hours of testimony, the House decided to not include paid coaches as mandated reporters.

“So we have to be very focused when we’re actually changing laws that could have a lot of unintended consequences," Kesto said. "So I hope he reviews that and looks at it."

Kesto said experts told him that expanding the list of mandated reporters can lead to more incorrect reports of child abuse. He said that takes the investigator’s time away from more serious reports and can cause more harm to children.

Jones said he will hear two hours of testimony on Tuesday and then the committee will vote on the bills on Wednesday.

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