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Michigan House passes bills on mandatory reporting of abuse

The exterior of the Michigan Capitol building
Emma Winowiecki
Michigan Radio
The Michigan Capitol building in Lansing.

The Michigan House of Representatives has passed some of the bills in a package aimed at facilitating child abuse reporting.

One change would require the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to create training materials for people considered “mandatory reporters” of suspected misconduct.

Democratic State representative Julie Rogers is that bill’s sponsor. She says there are currently some inconsistencies with the availability of training materials.

“My bill would direct DHHS to ensure that the training material available actually gets into the hands of mandatory reporters.”

Some of the bills passed Thursday would prevent people from discouraging others from reporting a crime.

Republican state Representative Julie Alexander says state law currently only prohibits someone from using physical force to stop someone from reporting abuse or sexual assault.

“And what we have learned in many of these situations is that while physical force is the most obvious form of persuasion, the use of an individual’s power of authority over an individual can also be just as coercive.”

The bills were also introduced in the past two legislative terms but did not make it to a Senate vote.

They were in response to proof of serial sexual abuse by former Michigan State University athletics doctor Larry Nassar.