The Latest: Legislature outlines new anti-harassment rules
Dec. 15, 2017
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on changes to sexual harassment policies at the New Mexico Legislature (all times local):
Sexual harassment complaints against New Mexico state lawmakers would be investigated by a panel of legislators under proposed revisions to the Legislature's anti-harassment policy.
The Legislature on Friday published its first draft of possible revisions to its rules and disciplinary procedures against sexual harassment at the Statehouse in response to concerns that widespread misconduct has gone unchecked.
The proposal provides procedures for filing complaints against lawmakers, legislative staff, and lobbyists or other people who visit the state Capitol.
Complaints against lawmakers would be reviewed by the speaker of the House or Senate president and possibly referred to an ethics subcommittee. Sanctions including reprimand, censure or expulsion are determined by entire House or Senate. Provisions for appeals have been left blank.
The draft provides new, detailed descriptions of what constitutes harassment or sexual harassment.
The New Mexico Legislature is rewriting its policy against sexual harassment in response to concerns that widespread misconduct has gone unchecked.
A panel of lawmakers plans to publish and discuss a first draft of proposed anti-harassment rules on Friday in Santa Fe.
The current policy was adopted in 2008 and relies on the heads of legislative agencies or chief clerks to vet complaints. Several women who work in the Statehouse as lobbyists or lawmakers say investigations should instead be handled by an independent authority outside the Legislature to guard against retaliation and ensure fairness.
New accounts of previously unreported harassment include accusations by registered lobbyist Vanessa Alarid that a former House lawmaker offered to vote for bill in 2009 if she would have sex with him.