SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – In response to the widespread incidents of women being sexual harassed and discriminated against in Springfield, state Rep. Mike Halpin, D-Rock Island, supported a package of legislative measures to crackdown on sexual harassment, ensure offenders are brought to justice, and that steps are taken to continue combatting workplace discrimination and harassment in both the public and private sector.
“We cannot underscore enough the need to combat sexual harassment in the workplace, both in the private sector and in government,” said Halpin. “Today, we advanced a package of legislative initiatives that would make Illinois one of the first states in the nation to address this very serious problem within state government.”
Halpin voted to pass Senate Bill 402, which will require every legislator, staffer and lobbyist to complete an annual sexual harassment training program. Lobbyist businesses will also be required to create and enforce their own internal sexual harassment policies, similar to what legislative staffs are already required to have in place. Additionally, Halpin voted to pass House Joint Resolution 83, which calls on everyone involved in Illinois politics to reject harassment and work to put an end to it.
Acting to empower the new legislative inspector general who will be charged with investigating allegations of harassment and other violations, Halpin stood with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to pass House Bill 137, which allows complete investigations of all complaints pending with the inspector general’s office, despite a one-year statute of limitations.
Halpin is also supporting efforts to create a task force to conduct a comprehensive review of the legal and social consequences of sexual discrimination and harassment in both the public and private sector and make recommendations to the General Assembly to combat this behavior.
“Legislation alone will not eliminate misogynistic, predatory and discriminatory behavior by those in power, in the Capitol or anywhere else,” said Halpin. “Doing so requires changing the culture that allows such behavior to occur without consequences. This is a good step toward combatting sexual harassment and discrimination, but our work cannot stop here.”