A proposed Missouri House intern policy and proposed changes to the chamber’s sexual harassment policy will receive a public hearing today.
The policies became a priority after former speaker John Diehl, Junior, admitted in May to sharing sexually suggestive texts with a college intern and then resigned. His successor, Speaker Todd Richardson (R-Poplar Bluff) commissioned a work group to come up with an intern policy. It’s work included the proposal of changes to the sexual harassment policy.
Some key recommendations are a ban on fraternization between representatives, staff, and interns; the creation of an ombudsman for the intern program; and the requirement that harassment complaints be investigated by an outside counsel.
Some Democrats have been critical of the process that went into crafting the policy and changes, saying the work group never actually met and that it should have held public sessions in which testimony could have been taken. Republicans defend the process saying input was taken from Democrats, interns, the Women’s Foundation, and others, and say this hearing will give an opportunity for any other changes to be proposed or concerns to be voiced.
We streamed that hearing live. See the full video below, and check back at Missourinet.com for future live streams.