In this e-newsletter:
Upcoming Virtual Coffee Hour – Nov. 19
My coffee hour for the month of November will be virtually on Friday, Nov. 19, from 9 to 10 a.m. I will be providing a legislative update and offering an opportunity for residents of the 60th House District to share their thoughts and perspectives.
Residents of House District 60 should register for the Nov. 19 coffee hour by clicking HERE or by sending us an email at JulieRogers@house.mi.gov. An access link will be sent to registered people on Nov. 18 in the afternoon.
Bipartisan Legislation Announced to Help Save Care for Michigan Crash Survivors
Last month, I joined state Reps. Lori Stone (D-Warren), Brenda Carter (D-Pontiac), Robert Bezotte (R-Marion Township) and Doug Wozniak (R-Shelby Township) to announce legislation to provide immediate and necessary triage for the auto accident survivors in Michigan.
Recently, many auto accident survivors — along with their families, caregivers and providers — have come forward with serious concerns regarding the impact of their care under Michigan’s new auto insurance law. As a practicing physical therapist, I know how dire their needs are and the urgency behind them. We must act now to save care for Michigan crash survivors.
These bills will give family units and support systems more flexibility to provide reimbursable care, eliminate the use of standards not derived from medical professionals and sources from being used to deny treatment, and refine the term “medical treatment” to carve out certain products, services and accommodations from the fee cap system.
The bills included in this package are:
House Bill 5498: A bill to define medically accepted standards (Rep. Rogers).
House Bill 5499: A bill to clarify compensation for each individual providing home care for survivors of catastrophic auto accidents (Rep. Stone).
House Bill 5500: A bill to update what does/does not qualify as medical treatment (Rep. Bezotte).
House Bill 4854 Passes the House
On Nov. 4, my bill, House Bill 4854, passed the House as part of the 2021 bicameral and bipartisan Sexual Assault Prevention and Education bill package. The package was initially introduced during the 2018 investigation into the MSU and Larry Nassar scandal. This term, there are eight bills in the House and five bills in the Senate.
To watch my floor speech from Nov. 4, please click HERE.
I am extremely proud that my first bill to pass the house will help survivors by ensuring that comprehensive and effective training standards are provided to help mandatory reporters meet their reporting obligations. I am also proud that this bipartisan group of legislators is working together to fight for these brave survivors. This vote is an important step forward to finally getting these bills signed into law.
Currently, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is required by law to make training available; however, there is currently no way to ensure that this material is actually getting to mandatory reporters. HB 4854 would require employers or organizations to provide these comprehensive training materials to those who are mandatory reporters.
We owe it to survivors throughout the state to finish what we started and make Michigan a leader in ending sexual abuse once and for all. These types of instances are not isolated to one college or university. We can’t afford to wait any longer to act on these necessary reforms.
House Bill 4851 (Rep. Alexander): Prohibits using a position of authority to prevent reporting a crime.
House Bill 4852 (Rep. Cambensy): Prohibits using a position of authority to prevent reporting of certain crimes to a university Title IX coordinator.
House Bill 4853 (Rep. Whiteford): Requires physicians to retain medical records referencing anal or vaginal penetration for 15 years.
House Bill 4854 (Rep. Rogers): Requires distribution of a training package to mandatory reporters of suspected child abuse or neglect.
House Bill 4855 (Rep. Hauck): Provides sentencing guidelines for physicians intentionally failing to maintain certain medical records.
House Bill 4856 (Rep. Bolden): Exempts identities of parties proceeding anonymously in civil sexual misconduct actions under FOIA.
House Bill 4857 (Rep. Glenn): Provides permanent loss of medical license for conviction of sexual misconduct under the pretext of medical treatment.
House Bill 4858 (Rep. Rendon): Provides permanent revocation of medical license for sexual misconduct under the guise of medical treatment.
Supporting Domestic Violence Survivors
October was Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and I was proud to join with the Progressive Women’s Caucus on a package of bills to help support domestic violence survivors as they try to flee abusive relationships and rebuild their lives. My bill in the package, House Bill 5560, clarifies that law enforcement and prosecutors may engage in survivor-centered coordinated outreach, which has proven successful in many Michigan communities. This bill will help ensure that survivors are connected with resources, while protecting their privacy, to help meet their unique, individual needs in these incredibly distressing situations.
Honoring Our Veterans
On Nov. 10, I joined the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency for a Veterans Day Recognition Ceremony at the State Capitol. The ceremony included remarks from Maj. Gen. Paul D. Rogers, adjutant general and director of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs; Zaneta Adams, director of the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency; as well as Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, among others. There was also a special pinning ceremony for the Vietnam veterans in attendance.
I was also honored to join Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Director Adams and Maj. Gen. Rogers for a Veteran’s Round Table. As the Democratic vice chair of the Military, Veterans and Homeland Security Committee, I am committed to doing everything in my power to ensure that our veterans receive the support and services they deserve.
Finally, I was humbled to join the Veterans Service Office of Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department for the 2021 Kalamazoo County Veterans Day Ceremony. At the event, state Rep. Christine Morse, state Sen. Sean McCann and I presented a special state of Michigan tribute to the 2021 Kalamazoo County Veteran of the Year The award recipient, James Saur. Mr. Saur, is a retired Air Force officer with 26 years of active service. During his career, he served in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. He retired in 1990 and became active in the Joseph B. Westnedge Post 36 of the American Legion, where he was the driving force to keeping the organization open and increasing membership. Mr. Saur is an advocate for veterans and veteran families throughout Kalamazoo County.
Kalamazoo Holiday Parade
The Maple Hill Kalamazoo Holiday Parade will return on Nov. 20 and take to the streets of downtown Kalamazoo. The parade starts at 11 a.m., and I look forward to seeing you there! For more information, please visit www.kalamazooholidayparade.org.