Texas House OKs tougher anti-sexual harassment rules

Texas House OKs tougher anti-sexual harassment rules
The Texas State Capitol on the first day of the 86th legislative session. Source: Miguel Gutierrez Jr., The Texas Tribune

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas House has voted to strengthen its anti-sexual harassment policies, mandating training and allowing a legislative committee with subpoena powers to investigate complaints.

Wednesday's 142-0 vote requires House members and staff to quickly complete training upon first employment. The changes were based on recommendations by a special committee formed to discuss ways to curb sexual misconduct.

Complaints had gone to the House Committee on Administration, which reported receiving only "a few" sexual harassment claims in recent years.

The Texas Senate has also moved to revise its policies, but some have criticized those as still offering little recourse for alleged victims who accuse senators of misconduct.

Republican Charles Schwertner won re-election but reigned a Senate committee chairmanship after being accused off sending sexually explicit text messages to a graduate student.