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Stern human trafficking bill passes committee

Henry Stern, 27th District State Senator. Courtesy photo

As other local representatives work to assist victims of human trafficking, state Sen. Henry Stern applauded the Senate Judiciary Committee for passing Senate Bill 630 through committee Wednesday.

The legislation authored by Stern, D-Canoga Park, seeks to build upon prior bills to empower communities to fight human trafficking and make it clear that current laws do not prevent a local governing body from acting to prevent slavery or human trafficking.

“Nationally, it was reported in 2015 that the most important provision for increasing the number of human trafficking arrests is the requirement that the National Human Trafficking Hotline number be posted in public places,” a news release from Stern’s office stated Wednesday. As a result, California Civil Code was amended to include additional requirements pertaining to victim assistance notices.

This code was subsequently expanded to include additional businesses and other outreach methods that victims can utilize, according to the release. In 2017, Stern authored SB 225, which required the California Department of Justice to revise its model human trafficking notice to include the option of texting.

“Many businesses have complied with the posting requirements, and many prosecutors have successfully enforced the law against those who do not,” the release states. “Yet far too many businesses remain out of compliance.”

Stern believes a lack of clarity around enforcement authority in the current law has left many local governments uncertain as to what lengths they can go to ensure enforcement of the requirements.

“SB 630 makes SB 1193 even more effective by updating the enforcement provision in the measure, empowering local governments to enact tailored ordinances ensuring compliance with posting requirements,” the release states, mentioning the measure is supported by the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking and other groups dedicated to stopping crimes related to human trafficking.

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