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Missouri lawmaker wants House intern program suspended

A Missouri lawmaker wants the House to suspend its intern program and further strengthen its policies about sexual harassment. (KTVO File)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri lawmaker wants the House to suspend its intern program and further strengthen its policies about sexual harassment.

Democratic Rep. Courtney Allen Curtis, of Ferguson, said Monday that the House culture hasn't improved enough since former House Speaker John Diehl Jr. resigned in May 2015 while admitting to sending sexually suggestive text messages to an intern.

The Associated Press has reported the House handled six formal sexual harassment complaints since then, including at least four for which outside attorneys were hired to investigate claims involving lawmakers.

The House has more than 100 interns, including two who work with Curtis.

House Chief Clerk Adam Crumbliss says it would be detrimental to students to cancel the intern program.

He says the House is open to ways to strengthen its harassment policies.

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