Effort underway to reopen MSU healing fund

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Current and incoming trustees at Michigan State University have joined the call to reopen a $10 million fund for survivors of Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse.

Earlier this month, interim President John Engler announced the MSU Healing Assistance Fund will permanently close and remaining money will be transferred to the $500 million settlement account. The move means those who did not pursue civil litigation previously can’t ask for help with therapy or medical bills.

Engler faced backlash for his decision at the board’s final meeting of 2018. Over the weekend, a petition began circulating to get the fund reopened.

The petition is now signed by the four people who came out against the closure: Trustee Dianne Byrum, Trustee Brian Mosallam, Trustee-elect Brianna Scott and Trustee-elect Kelly Tebay.

The trustees have the power to motion for a vote on reopening the fund, but it’s not clear if those who have signed the petition will make a move. A group statement released earlier this month did not address a potential vote.

Scott and Tebay will take over for Trustee Mitch Lyons and Chairman Brian Breslin in January.

Gov. Rick Snyder will appoint a replacement for Trustee George Perles, who resigned at the end of November, by the end of the year.

On Wednesday, Snyder’s office said the governor is still considering candidates, but did not specify when he will make his announcement. It’s unclear if the petition is something the governor is considering as he makes his decision.

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