SPRINGFIELD, Ill.  – State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, is supporting legislation to put in place policies and training for legislators, staff and lobbyists in order to stop sexual harassment in state government.

“Sexual harassment, in any form, is unacceptable,” Welch said. “Our culture encourages survivors to keep quiet, instead of holding individuals accountable for their actions. This has to change in communities and industries across the country and right here in Illinois.”

Welch is supporting Senate Bill 402, which will require elected officials and their staff to undergo annual trainings to stop sexual harassment at work and in the state Capitol. Additionally, the legislation gives power to inspector generals, which oversee any complaints against the legislative and executive branches of government, to review allegations of sexual harassment and fine individuals found guilty of misconduct. The bill was heard in the House Personnel & Pensions Committee and now makes its way to the House floor for a full vote.

Welch is also supporting House Joint Resolution 83, which requires Illinois’ elected officials to work together to root out the culture that allows for sexually harassing conversations to permeate the work environment. Welch wants to work with his colleagues and others to create a more welcoming culture in the workplace that does not allow for occurrences of sexual harassment and assault to go unreported or unpunished.

“Putting in place policies to end sexual harassment in state government is just one step that must be taken to address sexual harassment in Illinois,” Welch said. “Anyone working for or on behalf of taxpayers should be held responsible for their actions, regardless of their title. This legislation is a first step, but we must continue to do everything in our power to end sexual harassment and discrimination in workplaces throughout the state.”

Rep Emanuel Chris WelchRep Emanuel Chris Welch

7th District

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