Texas Senate Approves Tough Human Trafficking Legislation

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas Senate has voted to toughen penalties for human trafficking, including automatic life sentences for repeat offenders.

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  1. AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas Senate has voted to toughen penalties for human trafficking, including automatic life sentences for repeat offenders.
  2. This fulfills a campaign promise made by Gov. Rick Perry during his 2010 bid for reelection.
  3. Senate Bill 24 cruised through committee on Tuesday, passing unanimously.
  4. A bill designed to crack down on human trafficking that feeds the illicit sex and labor trade in Texas was given an initial approval Tuesday by a Senate committee.
  5. In a phenomenal article published April 2010, Texas Monthly's Mimi Swartz helped readers understand the complex tragedy of the Lost Girls -- slaves -- of Texas.
  6. In January of this year, the Office of the Attorney General released its Human Trafficking Report, which contained 21 recommendations for how legislation could reduce human trafficking and provide better services for victims.
  7. Public awareness of the problem improved when Texas aggressively sought to crack down on trafficking during the Superbowl, played this year in Arlington.  133 arrests were made, while human rights groups graded the state's job and gave it a C.  This in turn helped Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, and Reps. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, and Randy Weber, R-Pearland, to call for tougher laws.  Momentum was gaining.
  8. Governor Perry, Senators Van de Putte and Thompson, and Attorney General Abbott got together to promote the legislation in advance of the vote.  United in a good cause!
  9. There really wasn't any doubt the bill would pass.
  10. To follow developments, locate educational resources, or stay involved, bookmark the website of the South Texas Coalition Against Human Trafficking/Slavery.
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