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SB 14: Addressing human trafficking as a serious felony

Supervisor Jim Desmond

5th District

Last week, the State Assembly's Public Safety Committee failed to approve Senate Bill 14, which would have classified human trafficking as a serious felony and subjected it to the Three Strikes Law in California. It was disheartening to see as human trafficking is categorized as a "non-serious" crime, undermining its severity and neglecting the urgent need to protect our most vulnerable populations from this modern-day slavery.

A few days later, the Assembly's Public Safety Committee reversed course and passed SB 14, sending it to the appropriations committee. This is a welcome development. However, I cannot overlook the disappointment and frustration that this crucial legislation had to go through a forced emergency hearing to receive the attention it deserved. The initial vote should have never come to this.

Child trafficking is an unspeakable crime that shatters the lives of innocent children, and it demands our utmost attention and action. It is disheartening that such a matter of human rights and protecting our most vulnerable had to be politicized. This is not a partisan issue.

While I appreciate the Assembly Public Safety Committee's unanimous vote in favor of SB 14, we should not have reached this point. The fact that this had to go to a special session speaks to the need for our state legislature to prioritize the concerns and well-being of our communities.

I firmly believe that safeguarding our children from the horrors of child trafficking should be a shared goal, transcending party lines. We must set aside our differences and work together to eradicate this despicable crime. It is incumbent upon all of us to prioritize the safety and well-being of our children and restore faith in the integrity of our legislative processes.

I urge the entire California Assembly to pass this into law immediately and hold human traffickers accountable.


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