Alaska lawmakers go back to work amid sex misconduct fallout

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – The Alaska Legislature opens a new session Tuesday amid lingering fallout from the resignation of a House member accused of inappropriate behavior toward female aides.

Lawmakers plan to rewrite a policy against sexual and other harassment that critics say leaves room for interpretation, and legislators will be required to attend harassment and discrimination prevention training.

A new House member will be appointed to replace Dean Westlake, the Democrat who resigned.

Republican Rep. Tammie Wilson sees the training as a “dog and pony show” and an effort to divert attention from how the Westlake matter was handled. She wants a third-party investigation.

The legislative agenda also includes the now-familiar task of trying to address an ongoing, multibillion-dollar state budget deficit, with the added pressure of looming elections.

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