Human trafficking bill moves ahead to Senate

Assemblywoman Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita, speaks to the crowd after being sworn in at Oak Hills Elementary School in Valencia. Signal file photo Dan Watson/The Signal

Along with her three bills focusing on education reform, Assemblywoman Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita, authored Assembly Bill 629, which was marked as priority legislation by the Legislative Women’s Caucus and has passed the Assembly.

AB 629 was created in an effort to help victims of human trafficking rebuild their lives, Smith said in a news release Thursday. Specifically, the bill seeks to ensure that human trafficking victims are eligible for compensation for lost or underpaid wages — just as any other victim of crime is — because, under current law, victims of human trafficking are excluded from receiving compensation for lost wages.

“Victims of human trafficking experience unimaginable trauma and violence,” Smith said. “In order to restore justice, we must ensure trafficking survivors have the resources and tools to build a better future. AB 629 speaks to a victim’s ability to recover and returns dignity to survivors of human trafficking.”

Smith added Thursday she worked with co-sponsors like the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking and Bet Tzedek Legal Services, as well as joint author, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, to pass AB 629.

“The bill received bipartisan and unanimous support from the Assembly,” according to the news release, and now heads to the Senate.

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About the author

Brennon Dixson

Brennon Dixson

Brennon Dixson covers education for the Signal. He comes to Santa Clarita from Long Beach, where he was previously employed by the Press Telegram in Long Beach and the Daily Breeze in Torrance.