CHICAGO — The Latest on efforts to address sexual harassment allegations in statehouses (all times local):
Elected officials in Illinois have introduced legislation to address sexual harassment and top leaders say they’re reviewing policies to “ensure no individual is a target.”
The spotlight Tuesday comes as a letter alleging pervasive sexual harassment in Illinois politics is circulating at the Capitol. It follows similar efforts in other states including California.
Illinois state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, a Democrat, filed a resolution Tuesday “to change the culture that breeds such behavior.”
There’s also legislation in the works to require all lawmakers, staff and lobbyists to receive training. House Speaker Michael Madigan, a Democrat, issued a statement Tuesday saying that legislators can do more to make sure no one is target and there’ll be a requirement for lobbyists to develop and submit sexual harassment policies like legislators have to do.
An open letter alleging widespread sexual harassment in Illinois politics and urging women and their allies to come forward is circulating around the state Capitol.
More than 130 people signed the letter as of Tuesday including legislators and lobbyists. The incidents mentioned in the letter don’t accuse anyone by name but the letter does outline scenarios involving male legislators, including a “chamber leader.”
Political fundraiser Katelynd Duncan says the goal isn’t to out people but to change the culture in Springfield. There’s a private Facebook group with nearly 500 members and a legislative resolution is expected.
Duncan says the letter was inspired by one circulated last week in the California Legislature. It’s among the growing actions about harassment and unwanted advances from men following the allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.