MN Senate beefs up internal sexual harassment rules

Published 5:11 pm Monday, March 25, 2019

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Senate is now operating under stricter internal rules meant to combat sexual harassment against its members, staff and other people who have business at the Senate.

The Senate Rules Committee unanimously adopted the update Monday. The House made similar changes last session.

The push for the Legislature to strengthen its internal policies followed allegations that surfaced against two legislators in 2017. And they came amid a tide of sexual harassment and assault allegations against powerful figures in politics, media and entertainment.

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GOP Sen. Michelle Benson says the updated policy is clearer and stronger, with mandatory reporting and investigation requirements. She says it sends a strong message that harassment and discrimination are not acceptable in the Senate. She says the next step is training senators on how it works.