News & Features

Montana Lawmakers Advance New Sexual Misconduct Policy

The House and Senate's Joint Rules Committee voted for the new policy Tuesday

HELENA – The rules committee of the Montana Legislature has advanced a proposal to prohibit discrimination, harassment and retaliation and set a confidential process to report and investigate complaints.

The House and Senate’s Joint Rules Committee voted for the new policy Tuesday. The full Legislature must approve it in January for it to take effect.

The policy was developed over the last 18 months amid sexual misconduct complaints made against lawmakers across the country as part of the #MeToo movement.

Senate Minority Leader Jon Sesso of Butte urged the committee to support the policy Tuesday, calling it an important statement for the Legislature to make.

A valid complaint against a lawmaker could lead to sanctions that include training, a loss of committee assignments, a hearing before the ethics committee or a report to law enforcement.