Sexual Harassment Issues Loom Over Start of Session

Legislators address elephant in the room along with goals for 2018

The second session of the 71st General Assembly got underway Wednesday with leading legislators promising bipartisanship as well as finishing old business.

The focus on sexual harassment from the off-season continued with protestors outside the Capitol calling for the resignation of accused Rep. Steve Lebsock and recognition of the key issue from all of the party leaders.

Inside the Capitol, however, the General Assembly returned with little in the way of new welcomes or introductions. Reps. Dylan Roberts of Eagle and Judy Reyher of Otero County joined the House of Representatives. And after the usual pomp and circumstance that comes with the opening of the legislature, opening remarks from party and chamber leaders setting their agendas for the next 118 days and legislators singing Happy Birthday for colleague Rep. Polly Lawrence, the session got underway.

Cristanta Duran, who faced scrutiny as well over the past few months, addressed the issue in her opening remarks to the House legislators. Duran was among the legislators who worked on changing the Capitol’s sexual harassment policies and drew criticism after dismissing a sexual harassment complaint against Rep. Paul Rosenthal in the week before the start of the session. After acknowledging the successes of the previous session, Duran turned to the obstacles ahead for 2018, the “most disturbing” of which being the allegations of sexual harassment coming out around the country.

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the January 15, 2017 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.