Monday, June 02, 2008

Senate Panel Rejects Human Trafficking Proposal

From the Deseret News:

UTAH, United States, February 27, 2008- A bill to create a state felony penalty for human trafficking and smuggling hit a roadblock Wednesday when it was rejected in a tied 2-2 vote by a Senate panel.

Rep. Christopher Herrod, R-Provo, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that HB339 had received unanimous support in the House as a way to add a state provision to match federal law. Herrod said human trafficking is a modern day slave trade, and "some of the saddest ones are children brought ... for sexual purpose."

And he said Southern Utah is a popular human smuggling route. Herrod said a state statute would help bring grants to Utah and pointed out it's local police and social workers who are more likely to encounter trafficking than federal agents.

However, in voting against HB339, Sen. Scott McCoy, D-Salt Lake, said he believed existing federal efforts to curtail trafficking are sufficient.

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