Sexual harassment response overhaul signed into law

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) – A new law will look to make it easier for women to come forward about sexual harassment at the capitol.

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the measure Friday. It will make ethics complaints against lawmakers and staff members more independent in nature and will increase how much information about those investigations is public. House and Senate task forces, along with sponsor State Sen. Melinda Bush (D), pushed it through.

Rauner says the law is a victory for women who are challenging “the culture of fear, abuse and retaliation that permeates too much of state government”.

The legislative inspector general no longer has to get permission from the Executive Ethics Commission to launch an investigation into complaints of harassment. A new commission, expected to involve outside voices, will not restrict punishment to people who are still employed by the state.

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