Lawmakers discuss Hawaii sexual harassment complaint reforms

HONOLULU — Women lawmakers at the Hawaii state Capitol want the House and Senate to update rules on handling sexual harassment complaints.

The push comes amid high-profile sexual misconduct allegations nationwide and the resignation of a former Hawaii House speaker over inappropriate behavior toward multiple women.

Under current rules, a House speaker or Senate president may have a conflict of interest in assessing a complaint if he or she is accused of harassment.

Democratic Rep. Della Au Belatti, leader of the Hawaii Women’s Legislative Caucus, says the group will discuss the matter this week.

She says members are looking at how complaints are made, received, investigated and decided.

Former House speaker Joe Souki resigned last month after the Hawaii State Ethics Commission said he acknowledged inappropriate and unwelcome touching and kissing of women..

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