Senate approves Schuitmaker legislation supporting sexual assault victims

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LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate on Thursday unanimously approved Senate Bills 152 and 153, bipartisan legislation aimed at improving care for victims of sexual assault.

Earlier this year, state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker joined Sen. Rebekah Warren and Rep. Laura Cox in introducing SBs 152 and 153 and House Bill 4190, which sought to make more state resources available to victims of assault.

“I have always made it a priority to fight for crime victims and make sure that they receive the support they need,” said Schuitmaker, R-Lawton. “These bills improve our commitment to victims by ensuring they have access to the best care available.”

SBs 152 and 153 would increase compensation for health care providers who offer services to victims of sexual assault, such as administering a sexual assault kit or treating victim injuries. The bills also increase the number of entities eligible to receive compensation for providing such care and create consistency within the reimbursement process. This consistency would enable victims to receive care wherever they may seek it.

“Local sexual assault nurse examiners and other health care providers deliver the first line of care after an assault takes place and they are instrumental in collecting evidence for use by law enforcement,” Schuitmaker said. “We need to make sure they have the funds they need to adequately do their job.”

SBs 152 and 153 now head to the House of Representatives for further consideration. HB 4190 remains in the House Committee on Law and Justice.

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