PA announces "Me Too" harassment bill
Women of the Pennsylvania General Assembly gathered Monday to announce several new pieces of legislation, amendments and memos geared toward fighting sexual harassment and assault.
The women of both the state House and Senate took a stand to say "enough is enough" when it comes to sexual violence and they want to better protect victims.
"What victims and survivors need now are laws with teeth," says Representative Margo Davidson (D-Delaware County).
The effort comes as the "Me Too" movement makes it way throughout the country, with women and men coming forward with stories of sexual assault, harassment and violence. Some of these stories have including workplace assault, which these women say is perpetuated in the halls of the Capitol.
"I believe it's outrageous that we use taxpayer dollars to settle lawsuits against members of our own General Assembly," says Representative Leanne Krueger (D-Delaware County).
Rep. Kreuger's bill, the "Me Too" bill, would create the Member and Employee Training and Oversight on Pa General Assembly Act. It would also ban non-disclosure agreements between victims and their assaulters.
A bill being introduced by Rep. Maureen Madden, (D-Monroe County), would protect all employees in Pennsylvania from unwanted sexual harassment. It would extend the state's Human Relations Act currently in place.
Other pieces of legislation discussed include bills that would create a task force for campus intimate partner violence.
Legislators believe by changing the stigma at the Capitol, it will ultimately change how the Commonwealth handes these cases.
"For those who work here on a daily basis, all you need to do is scratch the surface and you will learn of a subculture that exists and has been around for decades," says Rep. Patty Kim (D-Dauphin County.)