Last month, a Democrat-majority committee in the California state assembly refused to advance a bill that would make child trafficking a felony.
You would think such a law to stop child sex trafficking would be a no-brainer, but Democrats don’t appear to think so.
Democrats in the Assembly’s Public Safety committee voted down the bill in July, then after outcry and pressure from Governor Gavin Newsom, legislators reconsidered and passed it out of committee.
But on Wednesday, Senator Shannon Grove’s AB 14 was moved into the Assembly Appropriations Committee’s “suspense file.”
“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,” Grove said.
Grove released a statement explaining why the bill is so important:
“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.”
She pointed out that California is one of the top states for human trafficking and that thousands of children are forced into sexual and labor exploitation each year.
So why are Democrats against making such a crime a felony?
“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.
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.”
Many legislators in California even realize the severity of the problem: