Lawmakers attend sexual harassment course

By  | 

PIERRE, S.D. (KEVN) - Sexual harassment has been highlighted on a national level, but also in South Dakota. With sexual assault and workplace sexual harassment being discussed across the country, those at South Dakota’s state capitol learned what constitutes sexual harassment and what to report if an alleged crime happens.

On Wednesday, lawmakers, lobbyists and other people working at the state capitol were offered a two hour course put on by the National Council of State legislators.

Democratic state senator Billie Sutton of Burke says he’s focused on improving the problem and has proposed to changes to the Joint Legislative Procedures Committee to come up with more options for people when reporting sexual harassment.

According to Sutton, the Speaker of the House and the Speaker of the Senate are the only people to report to.

“Because that’s really one of the problems I heard from a couple of the incidents that happened here in South Dakota, is that there was an allegation that one person, a lobbyist, reported to the Speaker of the House and nothing got done,” said Sutton. “I’m not placing blame on that, but maybe we just need a better process to have better follow up and then a better investigative process as well.”

Sutton says the Joint Legislative Procedures Committee will put together a work group to come up with what a solution should look like. The proposed changes will be considered by house and senate members in the coming weeks.