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BC-US--Sexual Misconduct-State Legislatures,ADVISORY, US

August 23, 2018

Dear AP Customer:

After allegations of sexual misconduct by prominent people in entertainment, politics and the media began gaining public attention last fall, state legislatures across the country pledged to re-examine their own actions, policies and laws regarding sexual misconduct and harassment. In early January, an Associated Press survey of all 50 states found that about three-quarters of all legislative chambers indicated that new sexual misconduct and harassment policies were under review or had been implemented already.

But a follow-up survey conducted this summer by the AP found that not all of those state legislatures have followed through. The AP found that, as of August, only about half the state legislative chambers had taken some sort of action to update their sexual misconduct or harassment policies since October 2017, when the #MeToo movement began gaining momentum. The others had not done so, although some said they were still considering action. This comes as complaints involving sexual misconduct against lawmakers have been mounting.

The latest package of stories, photos and data on this topic is moving for weekend use. The details:

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DATA

The AP has collected detailed information about the misconduct-related bills and policies debated this year in the legislative chambers of each state. The AP also has tracked which types of policies — such as banning the use of public money to pay settlements or training requirements for staff and lawmakers — state legislatures have enacted.

Instructions for accessing the data have been emailed to AP customers. The data is embargoed for 3:01 a.m. Eastern on Sunday, Aug. 26, but can be used now for reporting localized stories.

If your news organization is not yet licensed to access our data distributions, please contact apdigitalsales@ap.org for enrollment details.

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TIMING:

The story, sidebars and photos have moved in advance, under embargo for immediate use at 3:01 a.m. EDT Sunday. They are for use in Sunday print editions.

A companion story, BC-US--Sexual Misconduct-Confidential Agreements, moved Thursday under embargo for use at 3:01 a.m. Monday and will be available for Monday print editions. It also is described below and is of interest to Business editors.

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For Sunday use:

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT-STATE LEGISLATURES

As the #MeToo movement spread to state legislatures, lawmakers across the country vowed to beef up their policies against sexual harassment, increase training, protect whistleblowers and discourage the use of confidential settlements. The follow-through in many states has failed to match the promises, according to an examination of legislation and policies in all 50 states. Half have taken no action whatsoever this year, even as sexual misconduct complaints against lawmakers have been mounting. By David A. Lieb. 1,400 words. Photos. AP data distribution. An abridged version also is moving.

With:

— BC-US--Sexual Misconduct-State Legislatures-Glance, a list of every state lawmaker nationwide who has resigned, been expelled or faced other repercussions because of sexual misconduct allegations.

— BC-US--Sexual Misconduct-State Legislatures-Policies, a rundown of some of the most common sexual harassment policies adopted this year by state legislatures.

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For Monday use:

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT-CONFIDENTIAL AGREEMENTS

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Confidentiality agreements have come under fire during the #MeToo movement as one way abusive men have been able to hold on to their jobs, and keep harassing more women. State lawmakers are listening. They introduced bills in at least 16 states this year that would place restrictions on the use of non-disclosure agreements in cases of sexual harassment, and six states have passed such laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Legal experts say it’s not clear yet what the effect will be on sexual harassment in the workplace, and there could be unintended consequences. By Michelle R. Smith. 800 words. Photos.

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CONTACTS:

For questions, contact AP State Government Team Editor Tom Verdin at taverdin@ap.org or AP Data Editor Meghan Hoyer at mhoyer@ap.org.

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