Kentucky Lawmakers Urged To Update Ethics Law To Combat Harassment

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – An ethics commission is urging Kentucky lawmakers to update the state’s legislative ethics law to fill a void in the fight against sexual harassment cases that surface at the state Capitol.

The Legislative Ethics Commission recommended Tuesday that the ethics law be revised to specifically prohibit workplace harassment by lawmakers against their staff. The legislative ethics law currently does not include such language.

Commission members say the change would remove any questions about whether they have jurisdiction to investigate sexual harassment allegations against lawmakers.

The commission has investigated such cases in recent years – most recently in a case involving former House Speaker Jeff Hoover – by referring to another standard related to misuse of public office.

The commission’s recommendation will be submitted to lawmakers. The 2019 legislative session begins in early January.