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

May 24, 2018

Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio file photo

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.