Top Colorado lawmakers call for added protections against sexual harassment

Training would be once a year and lobbyists and members of the press would be invited

Monte Whaley
The Denver Post
Speaker of the House Crisanta Duran as the roll is called at the Capitol for a legislative special session Sept. 3 in Denver.
Joe Amon/The Denver Post

Top lawmakers from both parties called Monday for changes in how to prevent and report sexual harassment in the state legislature as one of their own faces allegations he made sexual advances toward another lawmaker.

Democratic state Rep. Faith Winter said last week that Steve Lebsock, D-Thornton, sexually harassed her at a 2016 party to celebrate the end of the legislative session. Two other women who worked with Lebsock in his capacity as a legislator have come forward with similar accusations.

Lebsock, who is running for state treasurer, has apologized for his actions. So far he has resisted calls for his resignation.

The revelations on Monday prompted House Speaker Crisanta Duran and Senate President Kevin Grantham to launch sexual harassment prevention initiatives. The number of workplace harassment training sessions for legislators and staff members will be increased, and they will be open to lobbyists and members of the press.

“Our legislature should be a place where everyone feels safe and respected, where anyone who has been subjected to harassing behavior know that they can speak up and be heard without fear of reprisal, and where the arc of your career is determined by your hard work, qualifications, merit and skill,” said Duran, a Denver Democrat.

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