More lobbyists, lawmakers demand change at Maine statehouse

AUGUSTA, Maine — More lobbyists and lawmakers inspired by the #MeToo movement are coming forward to publicly share their stories of sexual harassment at the Maine Statehouse.

Several testified Wednesday in support of a bill that would mandate stricter anti-harassment training and education for lawmakers and their staffs and, for the first time, require the same training for lobbyists.

The Legislature’s state and local government committee voted to send the bill to lawmakers for votes.

Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault Executive Director Elizabeth Ward Saxl said the Clerk of the Maine House once had to address an “egregious” sexual harassment she experienced at the hands of a legislator.

Republican Sen. Paul Davis said he himself has experienced inappropriate behavior throughout his career and said it’s difficult for men to feel comfortable lodging complaints.