- Bills expanding the amount of time victims would have to sue their perpetrators and eliminate the statute of limitations for more criminal sexual conduct offenses were not put up for a vote last week during a marathon House session, even though they were on the agenda.

- In the past, the bills have had bipartisan support, as have many of the other bills known as “Nassar bills” born from efforts to address the rights of victims of sexual violence after about 200 women and girls testified in court against former Team USA gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor Larry Nassar after decades of sexual abuse. He was sentenced to essentially three life sentences from federal court and two Michigan courts on child pornography charges and criminal sexual conduct charges. 

- “I really thought we were there,” state Rep. Julie Brixie (D-Meridian Twp.) told the Advance last week following the session where lawmakers took up legislation like clean energy standards, but not the sexual violence bills on the agenda.

Brixie is spearheading the six bills she calls the “orphan packages” left behind each year in the Nassar package concerning statute of limitations and governmental immunity.

She noted strong Republican opposition to the bills and questions within her own party, and said that the Democratic caucus “really just ran out of time to address all of the concerns.”

The cost of being sexually assaulted is too high, several survivors of sexual violence told lawmakers in a June 6 House Criminal Justice Committee, offering their support for the bills and recounting their stories navigating the justice system, school and work as survivors.

They talked about losing relationships, missing out on key moments in life due to trauma and feeling voiceless as Michigan’s laws surrounding sexual violence limited their options after their assaults.

House Bills 4482, 4483 and 4484 would increase the statute of limitations for sexual assault victims to sue their perpetrators in a civil cases from the current criteria, which is three years after a person realizes they are a victim of criminal sexual conduct or their 28th birthday, whichever is later.

The bills would raise eligibility to whichever is the longest: when they reach 52 years of age, 10 years after the time the claim accrues, or 7 years after the individual discovers they were the victim of criminal sexual conduct.