The #MeToo movement that brought sexual harassment and assault claims to light in 2017 also rocked the Texas State Capitol. 

"We've got a real problem going on in the Texas Capitol," former State Sen. Wendy Davis told KVUE in 2018.

Davis was elected to represent Fort Worth in the Texas Senate in 2008. She went on to become the 2014 Democratic Gubernatorial candidate.

"At a social function with other legislators, a newly sworn-in House member touched me in an incredibly inappropriate way. I don't believe he knew I was a senator at the time,” Davis told KVUE.

WATCH | FULL INTERVIEW: Sen. Wendy Davis’ sexual harassment story one of many at Texas State Capitol

Davis' story and other allegations of inappropriate behavior at the State Capitol prompted leaders in both the House of Representatives and Senate to appoint committees to look at the problem in 2017. Both chambers made immediate changes to policy, mainly requiring members to take sexual harassment training.

But Wednesday, the members of the Texas House voted to strengthen its procedures for handling sexual harassment claims against lawmakers and their staffs.

In the House, Austin Representative Donna Howard (D) led the charge to address the issue and pass House Resolution 3

"If indeed there is a complaint against a House member, then it goes to General Investigating and then a third party, independent investigator will be hired to actually do the fact finding and get that report back to General Investigating," Howard told KVUE. 

Once the confidential process is done, the House will take action and it will be made public.

"Our real goal here is to talk about what we can put into place to change the culture. And to make sure that we are a place of respect for one another that we have interactions that do not tolerate harassment," Howard said.

Last year, leaders from the Senate expanded its one-page sexual harassment policy to six, touching on issues related to employer responsibility, ways to bring up harassment and deterring retaliation.


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The House Administration Committee can start officially making more changes to the sexual harassment policy in the coming weeks.

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