The Latest: Leader: Training for Kansas lawmakers is first

December 29, 2017

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Latest on proposed changes in the Kansas Legislature’s policy on sexual harassment (all times local):

11:05 a.m.

Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle says training for lawmakers, employees and interns is the first step for the Legislature in addressing sexual harassment.

Annual training for legislators, employees, interns and lobbyists was among the recommendations released Friday by the Women’s Foundation. The Kansas City, Missouri-based foundation promotes gender equity and reviewed the Legislature’s policy against sexual harassment.

The current policy hasn’t changed since 1994 and does not require regular training.

Wagle said such training is a good place to start because education about sexual harassment is important.

Wagle’s and fellow legislative leaders were scheduled to review the proposals Friday afternoon.

The Women’s Foundation says the existing policy has “significant gaps.” The foundation also is calling on the Legislature to have an independent, outside attorney review sexual harassment complaints.


9:25 a.m.

A Missouri-based foundation is proposing that the Kansas Legislature have an independent, outside attorney review sexual harassment complaints and bar secret settlements.

The Women’s Foundation also said Friday that the Legislature needs to create what the group calls a “non-fraternization” policy covering interns, legislative staff, lawmakers and lobbyists and ban gifts to interns.

The foundation released its proposals ahead of a Statehouse news conference Friday with Senate President Susan Wagle. The foundation promotes gender equity.

The Legislature’s sexual harassment policy has not been updated since 1994. It says that legislative employees’ complaints about harassment can be brought to supervisors or Legislative Administrative Services.

The foundation also proposes that elected officials, legislative staff, interns and lobbyists receive annual training.

The recommendations also call for more female legislative leaders.


6:55 a.m.

Top Kansas lawmakers are preparing to review proposed changes in the Legislature’s policy against sexual harassment.

The Women’s Foundation is set to release its recommended changes Friday during a Statehouse news conference with Senate President Susan Wagle.

The foundation is a Kansas City, Missouri-based group that promotes gender equity, and legislative leaders turned to its attorneys for help in revising a policy unchanged since 1994.

Legislative leaders are scheduled to meet Friday afternoon to consider the recommendations.

The current policy says that harassment complaints are brought first to an employee’s supervisor or Legislative Administrative Services.

The policy does not require an independent review of a complaint, and it does not mandate regular training about sexual harassment for lawmakers. It also says complaints are to be handled as discreetly as possible.

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