State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

AP finds many states, including PA, haven't followed through on #MeToo proposals

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Aug 26, 2018 3:01 AM

State lawmakers haven't passed most of their #MeToo-inspired legislation. (Photo by AP)


(Harrisburg) -- A nationwide survey by the Associated Press has found not all states have followed through on attempts to develop new harassment and misconduct policies in the wake of the #MeToo movement

The study wrapped up this month and looks back to last October, when #MeToo started picking up steam.

In January, the AP found around three-quarters of state legislatures had passed or were considering new harassment and misconduct measures.

But this summer, researchers found only half ultimately took action.

In Pennsylvania, the House passed a resolution to create a task force investigating harassment and discrimination laws for state workers.

A separate resolution to study workplace harassment laws more broadly also passed the House but stalled in the Senate.

More than a dozen other bills have been introduced, but none have made it past the committee stage. Many of their backers have criticized leaders for focusing too much on study, instead of action. 

Internally, the commonwealth's four caucuses have separate harassment rules.

House and Senate Democrats updated their protocols, and Senate Democrats began bringing in outside investigators--a measure other caucuses already take.

The AP also listed lawmakers who have been caught in harassment allegations.

Pennsylvania had three, including GOP Representative Nick Miccarelli, who's accused of assaulting and threatening to kill fellow lawmaker Tarah Toohil and another woman he dated.

All three lawmakers named are still in office.

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