Tougher sentencing for trafficking minors poised to move forward in California

FILE - Human Trafficking Abuse Stop Violence

While the bill failed its first vote on the California Assembly Public Safety Committee due to Assembly Majority Leader Isaac Bryan’s (D-Los Angeles) concerns that “longer sentences…increase our investment in systems of harm and subjugation at the expense of the investments that the communities need to not have this problem to begin with,” the bill readily passed on its second vote after the failure of its first vote generated national attention from prominent Democrats and Republicans alike. 

During the summer recess, bill author Senator Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) conducted significant outreach to members of the State Assembly, bringing the total number of coauthors to 64, a majority of California legislators. Importantly, this outreach increased the number of co-authors in the Assembly Appropriations Committee up to nine out of the 16 members on the committee, which requires a majority vote to move forward. 

“If you were to ask Californians — Democrat, Republican, or independent — if sex trafficking a minor should be a serious felony in the state of California, I can pretty much guarantee that almost everyone would say yes,” Grove said in a news conference.

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