LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Thursday approved a bipartisan group of bills to prevent sexual assault, support survivors and hold offenders accountable.
Sen. Roger Hauck, who sponsored a bill in the package, said he was happy to see this legislation advance and called it another step forward toward remedying previous wrongs and sealing up state law.
“This has been a long-term effort and has involved stakeholders from every angle to ensure the proposed policy decisions and reforms will actually make a difference and help protect people, especially children, from sexual predators,” said Hauck, R-Mt. Pleasant.
The legislation would make a number of reforms to certain medical practices and put important safeguard and guidelines in place.
Among other things, Senate Bills 66-73 would:
- Prohibit sexual contact and penetration under pretext of medical treatment and enact sentencing guidelines for such actions.
- Create requirements for when a licensee or registrant could perform medical treatment on a minor that involved vaginal or anal penetration.
- Require school districts to provide age-appropriate educational material related to sexual assault and harassment.
- Require the protection, retention, and maintenance of medical records referencing a vaginal or anal penetration treatment for 15 years by a health professional and health facility or agency.
- Enact sentencing guidelines for the crime of intentionally failing to document certain services in a medical record.
- Exempt the identity of parties proceeding anonymously in civil actions alleging sexual misconduct from the state’s Freedom of Information Act.
“These bills build on previous legislative efforts that began after the details of Dr. Larry Nassar’s abuse came to light,” Hauck said. “The damage left by Dr. Nassar will forever be a stain on our state, and these bills, among other legislative efforts, seek to not only correct that, but also make Michigan a national leader when it comes to protecting people from these heinous crimes.
“Today’s votes send a message to survivors that we support them and have heard their stories, and that we are serious about fighting back to prevent future crimes.”
The bills will now head to the Michigan House of Representatives for further consideration.