#MeToo bill hits snag in partisan spat | News

#MeToo bill hits snag in partisan spat | News

HARRISBURG – Any hope that #MeToo movement-inspired legislation will get fast-tracked during the state Legislature’s fall session appeared dashed on Thursday.

State Rep. Rob Kauffman, R-Franklin, the chairman of the House Labor and Industry committee, said he is dropping his support for a signature #MeToo bill, saying the legislation’s author, state Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-Delaware, has “politicized” the issue too much. 

The committee chairman’s opposition means the measure is unlikely to get moved before the full House for a final vote.

Steve Miskin, a spokesman for House Majority Leader Dave Reed, pointed to an online video ad by the Washington, D.C,-based Democratic Legislative Leadership Committee titled “Leanne Krueger-Braneky shares her #MeToo story.” In the video, Krueger-Braneky blames Republicans for not bringing her legislation before the full House for a vote.

“My Republican colleagues want to study the issue,” she said on the video. “I am fighting for my seat at the table and I’m fighting for every other woman to have a seat at the table because our voices matter, and we’ve got a different perspective on these issues.”

In the video, Krueger-Braneky said that women only hold 19 percent of the legislative seats in Pennsylvania. 

There are 73 women running as Democrats for state House. Of them, only 21 are incumbents, she said.

“We have a chance to change the face of the Legislature,” she said in the video.

Kauffman said he was “appalled” by what he described as a move to politicize the discussion and said “it poisoned the well” in terms of building support for the measure.

Kauffman made his remarks at the beginning of two-hour hearing on the legislation, House Bill 1965 and six other bills that would also target different areas of sexual harassment law.

In an interview after the hearing,…

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