The Polaris Project included Massachusetts as part of the dirty dozen of states because Massachusetts is weak on human trafficking. Massachusetts is one of 5 states that do not have any human trafficking legislation. We currently have legislation that could change that.
Senate Bill 58 has morphed into Senate Bill 2589 which is weaker than the previous bill but it is still a step in the right direction.
The new bill was passed unanimously by the senate and has been referred to the House where it was then referred to the Joint Committee on Rules where it currently sits.
It can still be moved forward in an informal setting if no one in the house objects to the bill. It is now in the hands of the house. However, the State House needs to vote on it by the end of the year.
The Ways and Means Committee curtailed anything that cost money so they changed the taskforce to a commission and probably cut down on programs like health and job programs. They lost the minimum mandatory sentencing for the crime of human trafficking but they also increased the sentencing. The trust fund will still be established. It will be largely funded by money seized from traffickers.
I encourage to write or call your state representative and to members of this committee. I have put together a draft letter that you can use.
Remember to vote tomorrow, Tuesday Sept. 14, in the Massachusetts primaries.