Support local journalism. Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

House, Senate proposal targets sexual harassment in Florida capital

Posted By on Sat, Jan 6, 2018 at 9:59 AM

  • Photo via Shutterstock
Two South Florida Democrats filed bills Friday that would seek to prevent sexual harassment by public officials and lobbyists and create a task force to examine sexual-harassment issues in government.

Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation, and Rep. Kristin Jacobs, D-Coconut Creek, filed the bills (SB 1629 and HB 1233) for consideration during the legislative session that starts Tuesday. The bills were filed on the effective date of the resignation of Sen. Jack Latvala, a Clearwater Republican who was investigated for alleged sexual harassment.

The bills include a prohibition in state law on sexual harassment by public officials, candidates, agency employees and lobbyists. The bills also would create a task force that would look at issues such as adequacy of methods for reporting and investigating sexual harassment, the maintenance of confidentiality for people who report sexual harassment and whether changes are needed in training and educational programs for government employees.

“It was vital to both of us that we create a measure that is neither reactionary nor full of empty rhetoric,” Jacobs said in a prepared statement. “A well-rounded task force plus clear language and punishment for those who violate existing laws will send a clear message that the state of Florida will no longer tolerate sexual harassment or misconduct.”

An announcement about the filing of the bills also indicated support from Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, and House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O' Lakes.

“The safety and security of visitors, staff, and all who visit our state Capitol is something we take very seriously,” Corcoran said in a statement. “We will work in a bipartisan fashion this session to address needed changes.”

Tags: , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 8, 2021

View more issues


© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation