Proponents Continue Push for Bill to Address Campus Sexual Assault
A bill seeking to require that colleges conduct sexual misconduct surveys was not passed before the formal legislative session ended on July 31, 2018. The House version of the bill (H.4810, An Act requiring sexual misconduct climate surveys at institutions of higher education), would create a task force to develop a model sexual misconduct climate survey and then would require colleges to create a similar survey every two years. The House Bill passed unanimously on July 25, 2018, only six days before the formal legislative session was set to end.
On July 31, 2018, the Senate passed an amendment to the House Bill, S.2645. The Senate’s amendment added several requirements, including that students receive annual sexual violence prevention training, that colleges provide a method of anonymous reporting of sexual misconduct, and that each college designate a “confidential resource advisor” to provide students with information regarding reporting, counseling and access to medical services after an assault.
Due to the House and Senate’s differing versions of the bill, the formal legislative session ended without the bill becoming law. However, proponents of the bill believe that it is far from dead. Members of Every Voice Coalition, which supports the Senate’s bill, said they hope that a version can pass before the informal session ends on January 1, 2019. Representative Lori Ehrlich, who filed the original version of the bill, said she will pursue the issue again when the new legislative session begins on January 2, 2019.
Client Tip: Although this bill did not pass during this legislative session, keep following it. It appears that the House and Senate are both determined to pass a version of this bill, but will need to hammer out the details. Contact an attorney if you don’t understand how each version of the bill, if passed, will impact you.
Approved Investigators of Sexual Misconduct
Bowditch attorneys are regularly retained by institutions of higher education to conduct sexual misconduct investigations. Our attorneys are approved investigators of sexual misconduct and frequently hired by United Educators. We also provide consulting services and training to colleges, universities and secondary schools on a wide variety of issues relating to preventing, investigating and responding to sexual misconduct.