Tired of waiting, female lawmakers take action on sexual harassment culture at the Capitol

They have proposed a bill to create a task force on sexual harassment.

What's happening?

A new bill has been proposed by Minnesota state Reps. Erin Maye Quade and Jamie Becker-Finn that would get to grips with sexual harassment in the Minnesota Legislature.

HF3311 was introduced in the Minnesota House on Monday, calling for the creation of a task force on sexual harassment at the State Capitol.

Why is this necessary?

You might recall that two members of the Minnesota Legislature, DFL Sen. Dan Schoen and GOP Rep. Tony Cornish, resigned last year after accusations of sexual harassment towards female lawmakers.

Quade and Becker-Finn were among the female legislators targeted, and said that the problem was far more widespread within the Capitol.

They called last year for a panel to tackle the issue, at a time when the wider #MeToo movement is putting additional scrutiny on how women are treatment.

Unsatisfied with the proposed solutions they've seen so far from the legislature, they've taken it upon themselves to call for a sexual harassment task force and are urging their colleagues to support it.

What would the bill do?

It would create an eight-person task force whose members are selected by the Speaker and minority leader of the Minnesota House, and the majority and minority leaders of the Senate.

However the members of the task force would not be lawmakers, nor would they be Capitol staffers or lobbyists.

They would be chosen by leading lawmakers "based on their demonstrated interest and expertise in sexual harassment issues, human resources, public sector employment law, or employee-focused employment law."

They would be then required to recommend specific procedures for reporting sexual misconduct by elected officials and candidates, and training on sexual harassment and workplace conduct.

They would also be tasked with creating a "nonpartisan process" for receiving and investigating sexual harassment complaints.

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