HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)–The impact of the national “Me Too” movement started with the revelations of sexual misconduct by Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, it also started a conversation at the Connecticut Capitol.
Earlier this year, top legislators in both political parties called for a complete review of the state’s sexual harassment and assault laws and the policies at the State Capitol Complex.
This list of proposals comes from the Democrats in the State Senate. They’re calling it the “Time’s Up Act.” But the top ranking woman in the legislature, who is a Republican, says this issue doesn’t belong to the Democrats.
First term Democratic State Rep. Liz Linehan of Cheshire has more interest in the issue of sexual harassment and assault than just about anyone. She says she was sexually assaulted at a Connecticut workplace twenty years ago, complained about it and lost her job. She says that’s why people sometimes wait years to talk about it adding, “Speaking up twenty years ago put a victim in a situation to lose our job and to be blacklisted like I was.”
Senate Democrats said today that that the – year statute of limitations on sexual assault crimes in Connecticut is one of the weakest laws in the nation. “I think we should lead the country by eliminating the statute of limitations to insure that all victims of sexual assault have their day in court and get justice,” said Sen. Mae Flexer (D-Danielson).
Their proposals also include reforming the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities to make the complaint process easier, increasing financial penalties, requiring more training at Connecticut workplaces, and banning secret settlements. Sen. Terry Gerratana (D-New Britain) saying, “This lets the perpetrator to act again and no one is the wiser.” Ironically; in recent years two Democratic members of the State Senate were accused of of verbal sexual harassment. They were reprimanded but the details remain secret. Both are now out of office.
The highest ranking woman in the legislature, House Minority Leader Themis Klarides (R-Derby) supports all these concepts and is miffed Republicans were not included today saying, “This is one of those issues that should not be partisan and they’re trying to make it partisan and that’s what people in this state should not tolerate.”
You can read details of the Senate Democrats’ “Time’s Up Act” here.