Sexual harassment policy for lawmakers could be tightened

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana legislative leaders say they expect new policies prohibiting sexual harassment by lawmakers will be in place for their upcoming session.

Proposed policies for the House and Senate were advanced Tuesday by leaders, although they said ethics committees for each chamber could tighten them up before legislators consider their adoption in January.

The draft policy expressly forbids unwanted sexual advances, but some experts told The Indianapolis Star that it fell short in not prohibiting what could be consensual affairs between lawmakers and employees or interns.

Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray says current restrictions on relationships between legislators and interns probably need to be made more robust.

No specific sexual harassment policy has covered Indiana lawmakers, but they’ve been required to act with “high moral and ethical standards.”

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