Senate plans to take up Nassar-inspired legislation this week

Mar 12, 2018

State Sen. Margaret O'Brien
Credit Margaret O'Brien / senatormargaretobrien.com

Legislation created out of tragedy is scheduled for a vote in the state Senate this week. Larry Nassar is the former Michigan State University sports doctor who sexually assaulted young patients under the guise of treatment for decades. Lawmakers have been working on legislation to prevent a similar case from happening again.

“It’s a bipartisan package and ... my members have tried to work with her and our policy teams have been working together on trying to make sure we solve this issue to the best of our ability and make sure it doesn’t happen again,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint.

The legislation would, among other things, require coaches and trainers to report suspicions of abuse and change the statute of limitations for sexual assault claims.

State Sen. Margaret O’Brien, R-Portage, has led the charge on the legislation. She says it’s important they get this bill package right.

“We feel very confident where we’re at," she said. "We are making some changes that different stakeholders have offered and that we think strengthen victim’s rights and provide a much clearer path.”

O’Brien says they clarified some definitions and made sure that employers would be required to tell employees if they are legally required to report suspected abuse.