California Child Trafficking Bill Finally Passes

After several failed attempts, the California child trafficking bill Senate Bill 14 passed on Monday. Bill 14 makes child trafficking a felony.

California Senate Bill 14, proposed by Sen. Shannon Grove (R-CA), finally passed on Monday 79-0. The bill faced many battles including changes that became necessary.

One of the major changes to the bill ensures that victims of child trafficking who are forced to help their kidnappers are not prosecuted for that assistance. The idea behind the bill is to ensure that child trafficking becomes a strikeable offense in the state of California.

The bill still faces a vote in the Senate and then will move to the desk of Gov. Gavin Newsom (D). Once the bill passes both the Senate vote and Newsom’s signature it can then be made into law.

The key with the bill is to make child trafficking not only a felony, but a strikeable offense. The strikeable offense status hits directly at repeat offenders. When a repeat offender is found guilty of this felony, they can then face stricter penalties and be placed into longer jail sentences.

Many of the issues Bill 14 has faced were not from the child trafficking bill itself. They dealt with the increased jail time and extended time for repeat offenders.

The concern for many bills of this type is when the bill hits the desk of a governor. In this case, Gov. Newsom is pleased with the bill, saying that it was good to see.”

Grove discussed her reasons behind writing the bill. Her main reason was to help prevent repeat offenders from an early release from prison. This early or fast release has allowed many repeat offenders to reenter the community and commit the same or worse acts.

“We are one step closer to making the horrific crime of child sex trafficking a serious felony. SB 14 will increase jail time for repeat offenders who sell children for sex and commit the most heinous acts on our children,” stated Grove.

The hope of many is that the bill passes the state Senate and and is signed by Newsom so repeat offenders will have a harder time returning to the community.