MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In today’s political climate, it’s rare that Democrats and Republicans find anything they can agree on, but a bipartisan pair of legislators came together to take on sexual misconduct.
On Monday, Democrat State Rep. John Lesch of St. Paul and Republican Rep. Marion O’Neill of Maple Lake laid out a proposal that allows anyone, including lobbyists and activists working at the Capitol, to bring forward accusations. It also expedites the investigation process.
O’Neill says while she hasn’t seen or experienced sexual harassment at the Capitol, she knows what it’s like.
“I have not experienced any kind of sexual harassment here at the legislature myself, but when I was in my 20s and much less powerful and much less vocal and a different person, frankly, I did experience horrible sexual harassment,” O’Neill said.
Last month, allegations of sexual harassment rocked the Minnesota State Capitol as multiple women came forward with their uncomfortable experiences with State Sen. Dan Schoen and Republican Rep. Tony Cornish.
Both Cornish and Schoen announced they would resign from their seats.
The representatives say they will bring the new proposal before the house on the first day of the new session in February.
The rules committee will then vet that the proposal before it is voted on by the House.
The resignations of Schoen and Cornish, which prompted Monday’s announcement, will trigger special elections to fill their seats. Those will happen on Feb. 12.