advocacy produces sweeping national & Statewide legislation reform

New Friends New Life  advocates to bring awareness, change laws, raise funds, educate youth, and support survivors of trafficking and exploitation. Watch the video below for a recap of New Friends New Life's 2015 advocacy efforts. 


84th Texas Legislative Session Recap 

Keith Armwood, Superintendent Letot; Dr. HaeSung Han, Letot Clinical Coordinator; Dr. Terry Smith, Exec. Dir. of Dallas County Juvenile Dept.; Congressman Ted Poe; Amanda Jones, Leader & Mentor; Senator John Cornyn; Capt. Jeoff Williams, TX Dept. of Public Safety; Katie Pedigo, Exec. Dir. New Friends New Life; Texas State Representative Morgan Meyer; State Representative Tan Parker

Keith Armwood, Superintendent Letot; Dr. HaeSung Han, Letot Clinical Coordinator; Dr. Terry Smith, Exec. Dir. of Dallas County Juvenile Dept.; Congressman Ted Poe; Amanda Jones, Leader & Mentor; Senator John Cornyn; Capt. Jeoff Williams, TX Dept. of Public Safety; Katie Pedigo, Exec. Dir. New Friends New Life; Texas State Representative Morgan Meyer; State Representative Tan Parker

One week after their Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act was signed into law, bill sponsors U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)  and U.S. Rep. Ted Poe (R-Houston) joined New Friends New Life for a roundtable discussion and press conference celebrating the passage of the bill that improves law enforcement’s ability to target traffickers and buyers and protect and expand the rights of trafficking victims.   

The Texas Legislature’s 84th Regular Session ended on Monday, June 1, 2015. Throughout the session, New Friends New Life vigorously advocated for the women and girls of Texas. Since Texas ranks #2 in the U.S. for human trafficking, it was clear policy reform was necessary. Gratefully, several policy makers heard our cry for reform and passed bills to make Texas a “no tolerance zone” for traffickers and exploiters and safeguarding the rights of women and girls who have suffered the degradation and trauma of human trafficking.
 
Below is a round-up of our numerous accomplishments this session. 

  • Texas HB 10: addresses various anti-human trafficking efforts, including: increasing the ability to prosecute traffickers by eliminating the statute of limitations for prostitution of children; the addition of human trafficking reporting and training requirements for schools and judiciary members; and the creation of the Child Sex Trafficking Prevention Unit
    Authors: Reps. Senfronia Thompson, Todd Hunter, Oscar Longoria, Tan Parker, Patricia Harless
    Sponsor: Sen. Joan Huffman
    Status: Signed into Law by Governor Greg Abbott on June 9, 2015
     
  • Texas HB 2286: seals criminal history records for victims of human trafficking convicted of prostitution
    Authors: Reps. Tan Parker, Morgan Meyer, Joseph Moody, Pat Fallon
    Sponsor: Sen. Konni Burton
    Status: Signed into Law by Governor Greg Abbott on June 19, 2015

  • Texas HB 2290: designates January as Human Trafficking Prevention Month to increase education and awareness
    Authors: Reps. Tan Parker, Morgan Meyer, John Frullo
    Sponsor: Sen. Joan Huffman
    Status: Signed into Law by Governor Greg Abbott on June 17, 2015

  • Texas HB 2291: increases the punishment for persons convicted of possession or promotion of child pornography
    Authors: Reps. Tan Parker, Morgan Meyer, John Frullo, Jason Villalba, Pat Fallon
    Sponsor: Sen. Charles Perry
    Status: Signed into Law by Governor Greg Abbott on June 18, 2015

  • Texas SB 825: creates distinction between the buyer and the seller in the penal code as it pertains to prosecuting prostitution
    Author: Sen. Joan Huffman
    Sponsor: Rep. Senfronia Thompson
    Status: Signed into Law by Governor Greg Abbott on June 20, 2015

It takes all of us saying, “Not our Children” for these policy reforms to succeed.


texas human trafficking advocacy day

New Friends New Life sent a Dallas delegation to Texas Human Trafficking Advocacy Day.  The group met with Governor Abbott, Speaker Straus, Representative Thompson, Representative Meyer, Senator Huffines, Senator John Whitmire, Representative Helen Giddings, Representative Kenneth Sheets, Senator Royce West and Representative Tan Parker.  We also met with policy advisors to Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, Chairman Abel Herrero, and Senator Joan Huffman.  The recommendations that New Friends New Life supports from Representative Parker and the Human Trafficking Task Force were well received.