Assemblywoman Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita, stood with fellow state legislators Tuesday to announce the Legislative Women’s Caucus 2019 priority agenda, which included a bill recently authored by Smith.
Co-authored by Smith and Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, Assembly Bill 629 seeks to compensate victims of human trafficking for their economic losses as a result of enslavement, a news release from Smith’s office stated.
“I am encouraged my AB 629 was selected as a priority bill for the Women’s Caucus agenda this year. Along with Sen. Anna Caballero’s outstanding legislation, my bill rounds out a package addressing the protection of our most vulnerable communities,” Smith said in the release, adding, “It is a privilege to serve and tackle issues across Assembly District 38 and the state in a comprehensive, intersectional and far-reaching way.”
As previously reported, AB 629 seeks to make human trafficking victims eligible to receive compensation from the California Victim Compensation Board for income lost while being forced into labor or services comparable to modern-day slavery. Currently, most victims of human trafficking are unable to receive compensation for lost income as a result of being trafficked because they do not have proper documentation of their previous employment
“A victim’s ability to recover is rooted in justice, and that means we must ensure access to fair compensation,” Smith said Tuesday. “My work on this bill so far has shown me that when women lead, we uplift each other and our communities. I am honored my AB 629 speaks to the breadth and diversity of women who make up our caucus and who we represent across the state.”