Minnesota House members are attending a full-day training session today designed to prevent discrimination and sexual harassment at the state legislature. House Speaker Kurt Daudt says, “If members chose to not participate in that, they will removed from their committee assignments and they can explain to their constituents why they don’t serve on any committees in the House.” Daudt adds, “That’s about as firm as I can make it, and if I could think of something more firm, I would do it…. Members of the legislature don’t work for me. I can’t fire them, and that’s what makes this kind of unique environment.”
Minnesota Senate leaders say they’re making sure all members’ anti-sex-harassment training is up to date and expect that to be finished by Thursday. Both chambers are also reviewing their policies.
House Democratic Minority Leader Melissa Hortman says beyond training and policies that affect the Capitol, legislators need to ask whether current laws are doing what’s necessary to prevent sexual harassment in *all* Minnesota workplaces. “I would posit that they are not strong enough right now, and they do not provide a means for redress for people in workplaces all across the state,” Hortman says.