Missouri House Speaker wants better atmosphere for interns

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JEFFERSON CITY - House Speaker Todd Richardson made policy recommendations Friday designed to improve the environment of the state capitol for interns.

Some of the policy changes Richardson recommended include requiring an outside investigation for harassment complaints that involve House members, creating oversight and accountability for the intern program and require annual sexual harassment policy training for House members and staff.

Richardson said members of his summer task force, House attorneys, officials from from higher education and the Women's Foundation in Kansas City all collaborated in creating the recommendations.

"These are common sense changes that can prevent some of the problems we have seen in the past from happening again in the future," Richardson said. "We know this is only one step in the process of improving the culture in the building."

The policy recommendations will go to the House Administration and Accounts Committee where it will receive a public hearing. 

"I want to be perfectly clear," Richardson said. "While I am Speaker, sexual harassment will not be tolerated."

The complete summary of the Speaker's recommendations can be found here.