Trafficking bill clears a legislative hurdle

State Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill Monday that would steer money toward victims of human trafficking.

Senate Bill 88, sponsored by state Sen. Sharon Broome, would create the Exploited Children’s Special Fund. Dollars for the fund would come from the partial proceeds of property forfeited by defendants convicted of human trafficking.

Under the law, any person who pleads guilty or no contest, or is convicted of an offense involving trafficking of children for sexual purposes, prostitution involving persons under 17 or enticing people into prostitution, would also be subject to $2,000 mandatory monetary assessment in addition to other charges associated with the offense.

SB88 passed the House on a 96-0 vote. It now heads back to the state Senate for senators to approve minor tweaks to the bill made in the House.