In a release issued Friday, Oct. 23, Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, called for mandatory training for House members on ethics and sexual harassment policies.
He also proposes a ban on "romantic fraternization" between members, staff and interns.
In addition, he proposed that an outside counsel investigate any sexual harassment complaint involving a House member or the House chief clerk.
His list of recommendations provides that the policy would cover "the unwelcome interaction of members and employees both in and away from the Capitol complex."a
In addition to imposing restrictions on legislators, the proposal also would impose protections for House members and House staff.
"The House will take such action as is available to protect House members and employees in the course of their work from unwelcome sexual conduct and communications by lobbyists, members of the press, visitors, constituents, service personnel, state employees employed by other agencies, or other persons."a
Richardson's proposal does not include details on how the policy would be enforced for legislators nor for persons outside of government.
In a statement issued with release of the proposals, Richardson acknowledged "these proposed policy changes are not a cure-all, but they do take significant, substantive steps toward improving the work environment in the Capitol so that interns, staff, and members can have a workplace where they are treated with respect and free from harassment," Richardson was quoted as saying in a statement released by his office.
Richardson's release came after House Democratic leaders renewed their call for public hearings to deal with the issues raised by the resignations of two legislators following charges of inappropriate conduct with female college interns.
In one case, House Speaker John Diehl, R-St. Louis County, resigned this spring after reports of sexual suggestive text messages with an intern.
Later in the summer, Sen. Paul LeVota, D-Independence, resigned after reports that a female intern had complained of inappropriate sexual advances.