(CBS) – Gov. Bruce Rauner reacted Friday to an ongoing firestorm over sexual harassment in Illinois government.
The issue came to the forefront after more than 200 women signed an open letter alleging widespread sexual abuse by politicians and power brokers.
“It’s clear from this letter it’s happening in state government, it’s happening in many organizations, and we have just got to have zero tolerance,” Rauner said.
Early in his tenure, the Republican signed an executive order requiring sexual misconduct training for all administration employees. Now, Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan, D-Chicago, wants to go further. He has proposed legislation mandating training for all legislators, lobbyists and state employees, with fines of up to $5,000 per violation.
Where would victims turn now? Not the Inspector General’s Office, which is empty.
No one been appointed to the position in four years.
The women behind the open letter believe, ultimately, the problem won’t be solved until more women are elected as legislators and appointed to senior staff positions in Springfield.
Hearings on the Madigan legislation are scheduled for next week in Chicago.