Kansas Legislature updates harassment policy, more work seen

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Top Kansas lawmakers have updated the Legislature's policy against sexual harassment while acknowledging that the work is not finished.

The new policy approved Friday by legislative leaders is more specific about how allegations of misconduct will be handled, particularly from legislative interns. It also specifically says lawmakers who violate the policy could face formal and public disciplinary action.

But the new policy doesn't provide for a review of complaints outside the Legislature and still calls for handling them as privately as possible.

House Democratic Leader Jim Ward of Wichita said the policy isn't strong enough.

Yet he and other legislative leaders said it is an improvement over the previous policy drafted in 1994. Leaders in both parties said work will continue on the policy and future updates are possible.