LANSING, Mich., June 23, 2023 — State Rep. Julie Rogers (D-Kalamazoo) and state Sen. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) applauded the passage of bipartisan legislation by both the  Michigan House and Senate. This package of bills will help prevent sexual assault, protect survivors and improve accountability by closing legislative gaps in Michigan law. Next, the legislation is headed to the governor to be signed into law.

“I’ve been fiercely committed to working with Senator Chang to finally see this bipartisan legislation cross the finish line,” said Rep. Julie Rogers, Chair of the House Health Policy Committee. “Michiganders need these policies to ensure their safety in medical settings, athletic programs and school facilities. As both a practicing physical therapist and a legislator, I believe these bills should have been passed years ago. We are committed to expanding key protections for the safety of Michigan’s people, and I am proud that these bills will finally make a difference.”

The bill package, House Bills 4120-25 and Senate Bills 66-73, were initially developed in 2018 in response to Larry Nassar’s sexual misconduct scandal and through gathering input from numerous survivors, experts and stakeholders in Michigan. 1 in 9 girls experience sexual assault at the hands of an adult, and sexual assault is a far too common occurrence – not just with athletes, but on college campuses, in our communities and in the home.

“It’s been a long journey for this bill package. We never gave up hope because we were determined to make these changes to prevent future sexual assault and protect survivors,” said Se. Chang, chair of the Senate Civil Rights, Judiciary, and Public Safety Committee. “I am confident that these bills will make a big impact in Michigan by starting to change the culture around sexual assault, ensuring that young people are aware of what sexual assault is and where to go for help, protecting patients from sexual abuse under the guise of medical treatment, and so much more. I’ve been proud to work alongside dedicated survivors and advocates, in addition to Rep. Julie Rogers and so many colleagues on both sides of the aisle for more than five years on these bills.”

“This long overdue package of bills is an essential step on the path to a Michigan free from sexual violence,” said Sarah Prout Rennie, Executive Director for the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence (MCEDSV). “The bills strengthen and provide protections for survivors, culture-shifting prevention measures and necessary accountability for perpetrators of violence. It has been an honor to work alongside survivors, experts and the bill sponsors throughout the years-long process. MCEDSV is thankful for the sponsors’ continued effort for the benefit of survivors across Michigan.”

Bill Package Specifics:

Sexual Misconduct Education

  • HB 4120: Requires the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to create training materials for mandated reporters of suspected child abuse or neglect (Rogers).
  • SB 66: Requires the Department of Education to make materials regarding sexual assault and sexual harassment and available resources available to school districts and require districts to provide those materials to students in grades 6-12 (Chang).

Sexual Assault Under Pretext of Medical Treatment

  • HBs 4121 and 4122: Require an investigation and disciplinary action when a health licensee is convicted of sexual intercourse under the pretext of medical treatment (Breen) (Hope).
  • SB 67: Amends the Penal Code to create two new offenses: Sexual contact under the pretext of medical treatment and sexual penetration under the pretext of medical treatment (Lauwers).
  • SB 68: Amends the sentencing guidelines in the Code of Criminal Procedure to include the two new felonies proposed by SB 67 (Geiss).

Informed Consent for Sensitive Services to Minor Patients

  • SBs 69 and 70: Prohibits medical professionals from performing certain sensitive procedures and examinations on minor patients unless a medical assistant or other medical professional was in the room, and the minor’s parent or guardian gave consent, and creates a felony penalty for a violation (Theis) (Johnson).

Preservation of Medical Records

  • SBs 71 and 72: Requires medical professionals to preserve a patient’s medical records for medical services involving vaginal or anal penetration for a minimum of 15 years and create penalties for a violation. (Hauck) (McDonald Rivet).

Reporting of Offenses

  • HB 4123: Prohibit individuals from using their position of authority to prevent the reporting of committed or attempted child abuse or criminal sexual conduct offenses (Filler).
  • HB 4124: Prohibits a person from using their professional position of authority to prevent the reporting of an alleged crime involving criminal sexual conduct or child abuse to a Title IX coordinator (Glanville).

Student Protection

  • HB 4125: Prohibits school districts from expelling or suspending a student for more than 10 school days for actions the student took arising out of an incident of reported sexual assault (Rheingans)

FOIA Exemption for Sexual Misconduct Victim Identification

  • SB 73: Provide a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) exemption for any information that would reveal the identity of a party who proceeds anonymously in a civil action in which that party alleges that they were the victim of sexual misconduct (Shink).

If you or someone you know has experienced any form of domestic violence or assault, call 911, or Michigan’s Confidential 24/7 Sexual Assault Hotline at 855-VOICES4, or the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).