Senator Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) announced her bill Senate Bill 14 was moved to the Assembly Appropriations Committee’s suspense file. SB 14 would include sex trafficking of minors in the list of crimes that are defined as serious under California law, making the crime a strike under the Three Strikes law. The Appropriations suspense file is a committee procedure where a bill with a fiscal impact of more than $150,000 is held by the committee chair while considerations are made if it should be passed or retained based on the cost.
“As the Appropriations Committee is evaluating the cost of incarcerating traffickers, I hope they will also take into account the basic services associated with the life-long rehabilitation of victims and survivors of this brutal crime. There is no price tag that can be placed on a victim of human trafficking, especially a child. Selling a child to be raped over and over again is a crime so grotesque, immoral and barbaric it should be prevented and stopped at any cost.”
California has the unfortunate distinction of being one of the top states for human trafficking in the United States. Thousands of people, many of them minors, are forced into sexual and labor exploitation each year.
“It’s time we start protecting our children from predators who are lurking online and elsewhere, waiting to take advantage of the most vulnerable people in our communities,” said Senator Shannon Grove. “I just witnessed an operation in Kern County where 22 perpetrators were arrested during one operation, this is happening all across California. It’s time we call human trafficking what it really is, a serious crime that deserves a serious consequence.
Senate Bill 14 is a critical step forward in the fight against human trafficking in California. The bill will remain on the suspense file until the committee’s suspense hearing on September 1st, 2023.
The bipartisan measure is coauthored by 60 members of the Legislature, including 46 Assemblymembers. SB 14 is supported by a large coalition of human trafficking survivors, advocates, local, national and international organizations. Click here for the full list.