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Statement on Sexual Harassment at the Minnesota State Capitol

The League of Women Voters Minnesota was founded on the idea that women’s voices must be heard. First in a report from MinnPost, with others following, Minnesotans are reading stories in which women again demand that their voices be heard. We are grateful that these women were willing to share their stories with the public.

We are alarmed by the allegations of sexual harassment at the Capitol. Obviously, such behavior is unacceptable from any person. 

We thank Minority Leader Melissa Hortman and Speaker Kurt Daudt for collaborating across the aisle to mandate training in the Minnesota House of Representatives on sexual harassment and assault. We hope to see similar cooperation by the caucuses in the Senate. We also appreciate that Speaker Daudt has agreed to hire an outside firm to investigate. 

Democracy cannot work if Minnesotans feel threatened when they come to the Capitol. A Task Force for Sexual Harassment has already been suggested to legislative and party leaders. We trust that legislative leaders will take swift action to improve the process for reporting sexual harassment and disciplining aggressors. They must also ensure that no individual is subjected to retaliation for reporting sexual harassment. LWV Minnesota believes that the Capitol must be a place where all Minnesotans feel comfortable to interact with the legislature without harassment.