California Lawmakers Address Sexual Misconduct Claims

Sexual Misconduct Claims

Lawmakers in the State of California have decided for the first time that they will as a unit take on the scandal of sexual misconduct that continues to grow in their midst.

The upcoming year in the legislature will bring debates over a legislative measure to provide increased victims and witnesses that report sexual misconduct. Both chambers are also vowing a continuing effort to improve their own efforts at improving policies for handling these misconducts.

The challenge for the Senate will begin immediately as day one they will be forced to handle the situation created by colleague Tony Mendoza’s refusal to comply with requests that he relinquish his position after being accused of inappropriate advances toward young women that have worked for him.

Democratic Senator Connie Leyva expressed that though the Senate had not planned on this issue taking priority in the session that she is confident that she and colleagues would “finally get it right” and correct past mistakes by assuring that workers in the capital building would feel safe when deciding to “come forward.”

Also on the agenda of California Lawmakers, Governor Jerry Brown will submit a budget proposal that will signal the beginning of six months of debates pertaining to California’s raising and spending public money. Last year’s stalled proposals in regards to bail reform, expansion of renewable energy, and single payer health care will once again be on the table in 2018.

A letter seen by many in October alluded to a strong culture of sexual harassment at California’s state capitol. Women that have stepped forward to allege abuse at the hands of California lawmakers have already resulted in the resignations of Democratic Assemblymen Matt Dababneh and Raul Bocanegra.

Mendoza has denied the allegations made against him and expressed a belief that a pending investigation will vindicate his name. Despite Mendoza’s confidence, Republican Senator Andy Vidak promises to work at removing Mendoza when senate sessions resume.

The legislative focus on the matter will be a bill proposed by Melissa Melendez that would extend protections to whistleblowers that report ethical violations at the capitol building. This will be the fight time that Melendez has brought forward the proposed bill.

The bill is in response to dozens of women who have worked at the capitol expressing that they had decided not to report inappropriate sexual aggressions for fear of reprisals. Several former staff members for Mendoza have indeed blamed their firings on the fact that they reported his sexual advances against a young woman that was employed at the capitol. Both Mendoza and the state Senate deny this claim.