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Senate plans to take up Nassar-inspired legislation this week

Margaret O'Brien
Margaret O'Brien

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.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R