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lawmakers ok updated sexual harassment policy

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lawmakers ok updated sexual harassment policy

gabriela campos / the new mexicanrep. gail chasey, d-albuquerque, asks a question monday about the new anti-harassment policy for the new mexico legislature at the roundhouse on monday.new mexico lawmakers voted monday to expand the state capitol’s harassment policy, updating a nearly 10-year-old code amid recent controversies over misconduct and discrimination in legislatures around the country.the new policy calls for an outside lawyer to investigate allegations against lawmakers, bringing a measure of independent oversight to the legislature’s handling of misconduct. the new policy also lays out a more specific definition of harassment and requires training for lawmakers every two years.adopted in 2008, the previous policy totaled two pages (the new one is five) and appeared to apply only to legislative staff rather than lawmakers themselves. it also tasked legislative leaders and staff with investigating allegations, rather than an independent committee or lawyers. some legislators had argued its provisions slanted the process of reporting and investigating harassment against victims, discouraging them from stepping forward.but in recent months, amid national debate over harassment and chauvinism in media and politics, some women have broken their silence. and the new policy, adopted on the eve of a 30-day legislative session, was another sign that a cultural shift has reached new mexico.under the new policy, if a person who is not a legislative employee is harassed...