Lawmakers have released a draft policy that would revise how the Legislature handles sexual and other workplace harassment.
Anchorage Democratic Rep. Matt Claman is the vice chair of the subcommittee working on the policy. He said the Oregon guidelines had the clearest procedure to file a complaint of any examined by the subcommittee.
“There was consensus on the committee to base our policy and procedure on that Oregon procedure, that looked to make a lot of sense,” he said.
Harassment became an issue in the fall, when legislative aides and women outside of the Legislature alleged sexual harassment by Kiana Democratic Rep. Dean Westlake, who resigned in December.
The Oregon policy requires that independent investigators handle complaints against legislators. The Alaska draft policy is not yet clear about how these complaints would be handled. Claman said the Legislature’s human resources manager may be in the best position to investigate lawmakers.
The draft policy would require the House speaker and Senate president to appoint special committees on conduct that would covene if a lawmaker has been investigated for alleged misconduct. These committees would have equal numbers from the majority and minority parties. The committees would recommend to each chamber whether to take disciplinary action. Then the chamber would vote the next day that it convenes.
The draft policy would give people one year to file a formal or informal complaint about harassment. Claman said the filing period should draw from existing federal standards.
Claman said the subcommittee plans to meet weekly until it finishes work on the draft policy. He didn’t put a deadline on its work, but says it would work steadily. Its next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday.
- It would cost a lot more to pay the full amount under the formula – $840 million.
- the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said about 22 contaminated sites still need to be cleaned up in the Ketchikan-Gateway Borough.
- The company’s owner, Kunniak Hopson, moved to Chugiak 11 years ago from Utqiaġvik, which she calls Barrow. When she was growing up, her family always put McCormick’s Salt ‘n Spice on maktak, which is frozen whale blubber and skin. But McCormick’s stopped making it and she had to find an alternative.
- A set of massive whale bones rests on the bottom of the Newport, Oregon, bay. Scientists from Oregon State University put them there with a plan for a future display on shore. But they’re having trouble finding the money to retrieve the rare blue whale skeleton from beneath the waves.