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Legislation to Prevent Sexual Harassment Stuck in Senate

March 8th, 2018 by Jake Stofan
Two state senators resigned for sexual misconduct last fall, Jack Latvala for claims of sexual harassment and Jeff Clemons for having an affair with a lobbyist.
Afterwards, lawmakers vowed addressing the issue would be at the top of their agenda.
“The Florida Senate has zero tolerance for sexual harassment,” said Senate President Joe Negron in his address on the first day of session.
Proposed legislation would explicitly prohibit lawmakers, lobbyists and state employees from engaging in harassment of any kind and establish a sexual harassment task force.
It didn’t clear the House until last Thursday, just two weeks before the close of session.
“We can do a whole lot here, but if we don’t have it echoing on the other side we won’t have accomplished what we have tried,” said Representative Kristin Jacobs.
Now, the Speaker of the House and House sponsor Jennifer Sullivan want to know why the Senate has yet to take it up.
“Not hearing this bill, is once again showing that these victims voices don’t matter,” said Rep. Sullivan.
The Senate bill stalled in its last committee. With no more scheduled meetings, Committee Chair Dennis Baxley says the bill has hit the end of the line. 

“I want to do it at a time and in a way that we can have a very contemplative approach to it before we put things in statute that everyone else is going to need to abide by,” said Sen. Baxley.
Without this legislation the names of sexual harassment victims could be made public.
Senate sponsor Lauren Book says she’s exploring every option.
“You know, there’s two days left and I’m maybe an eternal optimist, but I do believe that hopefully we’re going to be able to see something happen,” said Sen. Book.
If the senate doesn’t act it will leave the status quo in place, which, has prevented some victims from coming forward in the past.

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