SACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Calif. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) and Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) today announced the formation of a joint committee tasked with creating a bicameral set of additional reforms to improve how the Legislature addresses the issue of sexual harassment and how it can better protect those who report harassment or abuse.
“While we are two different houses, it is important we speak with one voice: sexual harassment and abuse have to stop and everyone in the capitol community must feel safe,” Rendon and de León said.
“This joint committee will combine the efforts already underway in the Senate and Assembly and lead the way forward in a bicameral and bipartisan way to ensure the needed changes and protections can be put in place as quickly as possible.”
Legislative Women’s Caucus Chair Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) and Vice Chair Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) added, “Since the beginning of the #wesaidenough movement, the California Legislative Women’s Caucus has strongly advocated for bicameral reforms that ensure that the needs of victims are met, perpetrators are held accountable, and create a safe reporting system while establishing guiding principles to change the culture within the Capitol community.
“While we have a long road ahead, these actions are an important step and we look forward to working with the joint committee to help prevent future abuse, strengthen protections for victims and provide a positive path forward in the weeks and months ahead.”
The Joint Committee on Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response is formed as a subcommittee of the Joint Rules Committee. Its first hearing will take place later this month.
The members of the committee will be:
Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), chair
Senator Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), vice chair
Senate Republican Leader Pat Bates (R-Laguna Niguel)
Assembly Republican Leader Brian Dahle (R-Bieber)
Senator Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield)
Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino)
Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes (D-San Bernardino)
Assemblymember Marie Waldron (R-Escondido)