Advocacy Produces Sweeping State & Nationwide Legislative Reform

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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 from trafficking victims 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. 

  • HB 10 by Representative SenfroniaThompson (relating to recommendations from human trafficking prevention task force) – Passed both Houses and is on its way to Governor for signature. 
     
  • HB 2286 by Representative TanParker  (relating to judicial proceedings on a petition for a pardon or an order of expunction of criminal history record information for certain victims of trafficking of persons convicted of prostitution) – Passed both Houses and is on its way to Governor for signature. 
     
  • HB 2290 by Parker (relating to designating January as Human Trafficking Prevention Month) – Passed both Houses and is on its way to Governor for signature. 
     
  • HB 2291 by Parker (relating to increasing the punishment for certain persons convicted of the offense of possession or promotion of child pornography) – Passed both Houses and is on its way to the Governor for signature. 
     
  • SB 825 by Senator Joan Huffman and HB 1363 by Representative Eric Johnson (relating to the prosecution of the offense of prostitution, increasing a criminal penalty) – Both passed and is on the way to the Governor for signature. 

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