Human trafficking bill unanimously clears Senate panel

03/07/2013 12:39 PM

After a unanimous committee vote, a measure to protect Kentucky children from one of the most heinous crimes of being sold for sex is just one major step from clearing the General Assembly.

House Bill 3 , the human trafficking bill — which is sponsored by Rep. Sannie Overly, D-Paris, and cosponsored by Rep. Addia Wuchner, R-Florence — passed the Senate Judiciary Committee’s panel with only minor changes on Thursday. It now heads to the Senate floor.

The bill, which stalled in the Senate last year, would set up a new division of the Kentucky State Police. And it would create a human trafficking victims fund paid for with assets seized from those convicted of the crime.

Because of Kentucky’s central location and the large number of interstate highways running through the state, Overly said she fears instances of trafficking going through the commonwealth. Increased training and reporting techniques outlined in the legislation could address that, she said.

Last year the bill passed the House, and cleared a Senate panel in the waning hours of the session. But it was never taken up in front of the full Senate. During the interim, Overly and Wuchner worked with attorneys, prosecutors and law enforcement to fix problems with last year’s draft.

“I give the example of the Criminal Defense Bar – last year they were at the table with us not for the bill but each and every time opposing it,” Overly said. “Ernie Lewis came to me when we finally finished the bill, and he worked on it, and he said ‘I love this bill’.”

Wuchner and Overly said it was a “relief” to have the panel support the bill late in the session and were optimistic for full Senate support. The legislation was placed upon the consent calendar.

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm joined cn|2 in December 2011 as a reporter for Pure Politics. Throughout his career, Nick has covered several big political stories up close, including interviewing President Barack Obama on the campaign trail back in 2008. Nick says he loves being at the forefront of Kentucky politics and working with the brightest journalists in the commonwealth. Follow Nick on Twitter @Nick_Storm. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@twcnews.com.

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Comments

  • sam pierce wrote on March 09, 2013 12:32 PM :

    This is a good bill that should have unanimous bi-partisan support. I also wanted to comment on Sannie Overly’s new proposed district 72 which replaces the more Democrat Bath County with less Democrat Fleming County. If I heard correctly on KET’s Comment on Kentucky last night, Overly wanted Fleming County instead of Bath County. Unless she has relatives in Fleming County, I don’t know why she would want Fleming over Bath. Perhaps she is looking at a 2016 run against Andy Barr. She might think that representing Fleming County for two years will help her there. With Obama still in the White House, 2014 should be a Republican year in Kentucky, but I worry about 2016, when the more popular Hillary Clinton will probably be the Democrat nominee against what might be a divided Republican Party. I hope that is not the case. Also, according to what I think I heard on Comment on Kentucky, State representative Mike Denham of Maysville is related to Thomas Massey of Lewis County. Mike, if that is the case, become a Republican and welcome Lewis County into your district. Stumbo obviously does not care about you. He cares more about making Sannie Overly happy. I am going to watch Comment on Kentucky’s replay on KET on Sunday at 12:30 PM to make sure that I got my facts straight about what was said about Overly and Denham. Also, I think Representative Bob Damron should become a Republican. Stumbo and his Democrats voted for Sannie Overly over Damron for an important leaderhip position. It is obvious who Stumbo’s favorites are: minions such as Sannie Overly and Rocky Adkins. Come on over to our side Mike Denham and Bob Damron. If you stay with Stumbo, we will just have to defeat you, because Stumbo must be removed as dictator, excuse me, speaker of the house.

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