LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) –Legislation inspired by the Larry Nassar scandal passed with overwhelming support in the State House on Thursday.
There are 28 bills that have been approved in the Michigan House of Representatives.
Jamie White, an attorney representing 46 Nassar survivors says he feels encouraged by this move. He says the approval of this legislation in the State House is a step forward when it comes toward preventing sexual abuse in the future.
“Michigan historically has been one of the worst states in the country as it pertains to laws that protect children, laws that give victims of childhood sexual abuse access to the courts so it’s very encouraging that Michigan has taken a step in the direction of making progress in that area,” said White.
On Thursday the State House approved a package of bills that lawmakers say will help strengthen our state’s current laws by putting measures in place that will educate, prevent and offer fair outcomes for all people involved regarding sexual assault.
While there have been a lot of changes to the current legislation, White says he’s hopeful these bills will continue to move forward.
“We have studied states all over the country that have implemented these sorts of changes and they’ve done it in pieces,” White stated.
The legislation also would require more than one medical professional to be in the room when athletes are given treatment.
Some provisions in the bills were dialed back when they moved from the Senate to the House.
For instance, people would have 90 days rather than a full year to file a retro-active lawsuit.
And the list of new mandatory reporters will include physical therapists and their assistants, but not coaches and trainers as originally proposed.
Supporters say this is still a move in the right direction.
“I think we need to get this package out and we send a signal to the people who have been molesters and pedophiles and predators that we’re coming after you and we’re going to get you,” said State Rep. Mike McCready (R) Oakland County.
“We go as far as we can in law, but we also rely on the people, the citizens of our state, our Michiganders to do the right thing,” said State Rep. Klint Kesto (R) Wixom.
White also says he hopes these bills are signed by the governor to provide justice for survivors who have come forward as well as justice for those who haven’t broken their silence.
He also hopes the momentum keeps going in the legislature in order to protect children in Michigan.
Since changes were made after the bills passed through the Senate, they now head back to that chamber.