Feb. 24, 2023

HARRISBURG— As she continues to express frustration that the House Democrats’ special session rules did not provide for an Ethics Committee, Rep. Kate Klunk (R-Hanover) has filed a resolution to add one to the operating rules for special session.

This action follows an allegation of sexual harassment made against a sitting member of the House of Representatives. A woman made the allegation Jan. 27 during one of the stops of Speaker Mark Rozzi’s (D-Berks) listening tour in Philadelphia. 

“I have great concerns, especially in light of this recent allegation, that there is no oversight in our special session rules for sexual harassment or misconduct by members of the House,” Klunk began. “Taking action as soon as possible to bring accountability to a sitting House member credibly accused of sexual harassment is even more necessary since House Democrats yesterday unanimously opposed the formation of an Ethics Committee and additional protection for sexual harassment victims in special session.”

Last session, Klunk introduced House Resolution 192, which would have expanded House ethical conduct rules and procedures to sexual harassment complaints made by anyone against a member or officer of the House in employment-related circumstances. Prior rules only applied when the complaint was made by a member or employee of the House, which does not protect other citizens who interact with members.

“Unacceptable behavior can happen at any time. This body should be held to the absolute highest standard and code of conduct, and now is the time to ensure there is accountability. It takes real courage to make an allegation like this. Victims must have every opportunity to seek justice,” Klunk said.

She added that it “is of the upmost importance we pursue this rule change so every lawmaker is answerable for his or her actions on the job.”

Klunk will pursue including language from previous House Resolution 192 in rules for regular session, as harassment is not a partisan issue. The proposal would hold lawmakers accountable through the House ethics process as well as give the testifier at the Philadelphia listening tour stop and the accused lawmaker an opportunity for a fair process that can deliver justice.

Representative Kate A. Klunk
169th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Katelin Morrison
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