Senate President Karen Spilka says she’s working to create a more respectful culture within the Massachusetts Senate and is working on policy changes, including implementing a possible independent commission to look into sexual misconduct cases.
“We are planning on changing our policies to include interns, to include any advocate or person that comes to this State House, and a procedure,” Spilka said in an interview with Boston Public Radio Tuesday. “We are looking at it, and very inclusively and comprehensively.”
Former Senate President Stanley Rosenberg resigned in December 2017 amid allegations of sexual misconduct against his husband and an ethics commission investigation into whether or not he enabled his husband’s behavior.
Spilka said a “respectful culture” is a priority, though the process is slow-moving.
“The whole process took how many decades or centuries to get where we are? It's not going to change in a year or two,” she said, “but if we're consistent and continue to make some changes and show progress, I think that will make a difference. This is a new Senate.”
Spilka said a workplace climate survey will be conducted in March or April, and the Senate plans to implement changes in the interim, including the appointment of a diversity officer.