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Don’t Rush New Sexual Harassment Policies, Some Women Lawmakers Warn


One of the top agenda items for state legislatures next year will be to address the rampant sexual harassment in state capitols. Lawmakers in more than a dozen states have been accused of sexual harassment — or worse — since the #metoo movement took off in mid-October.

But several women in the Illinois legislature, which has already passed new laws in response to the outcry, caution that lawmakers should take their time when writing new sexual harassment policies.

“When you’re in crisis mode, you tend to move quickly. I don’t necessarily think crisis-legislating makes the best policy,” says Illinois state Sen. Toi Hutchinson, who is also the incoming president for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Her advice to lawmakers in other states?

“I would suggest that you invest the time to really dig in. We’re not going to solve this overnight –there’s no need for bills overnight,” she says. “Realize this has to last beyond the next couple of news cycles. It’s that important, that meaningful and that worth it.”

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