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Pennsylvania's governor creating anonymous sexual misconduct reporting system to make Capitol safer

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf says his office is developing an anonymous reporting system for sexual harassment and sexual assault at the state Capitol. (Lisa Lake/Getty Images)

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) announced on Monday that his office is developing an anonymous reporting system for sexual harassment and sexual assault at the state's Capitol.

The governor said it's a step toward making the Capitol safer after hearing disturbing stories of threatening and abusive behavior toward women there, The Morning Call reported.

Who are the accused lawmakers?

There's mounting pressure to create safer environments for female staffers after a growing list of elected officials has faced accusations of sexual misconduct.

Allegations against Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D-Nev.) surfaced Friday, adding him to a growing list of U.S. congressmen who've faced similar claims, including Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), and Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas).

On Saturday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, (D-Calif.), called on Kihuen to resign after his then-finance director came forward saying the freshman lawmaker made unwanted sexual advances toward her between December 2015 and April 2016.

Pelosi wrote:

“Across the nation, in every industry, brave women are coming forward to share stories of harassment that must be heard.

“In Congress, no one should face sexual harassment in order to work in an office or in a campaign.  The young woman’s documented account is convincing, and I commend her for the courage it took to come forward.

“In light of these upsetting allegations, Congressman Kihuen should resign.”

Kihuen responded in a statement to BuzzFeed about the allegations by a woman identified only as Samantha.

"I sincerely apologize for anything that I may have said or done that made her feel uncomfortable. I take this matter seriously as it is not indicative of who I am," Kihuen wrote.

Who would handle the reports?

Wolf's office isn't yet sure which agency would handle the complaints, according to The Call.

What else?

A Senate bill would prohibit non-disclosure agreements that attempt to keep victims from reporting sexual misbehavior.

A House bill would ban agreements to hide the names of elected officials and disallow settlements using taxpayer money.

According to The Call, there are no recent public criminal reports of sexual misconduct at the Pennsylvania Capitol.

One last thing…
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