Human trafficking bill moves to Pence for signature

By Adam Lee
TheStatehouseFile.com 

INDIANAPOLIS – The House sent the governor a bill on Tuesday aims to prevent human trafficking and take care of its victims.

Senate Bill 532, authored by Sen. Randy Head, R-Logansport, establishes the human trafficking prevention and victim assistance fund and allows law enforcement agencies to seize property, including vehicles, that are involved in human trafficking or prostitution.

Rep. Wendy McNamara, R- Mount Vernon, is sponsoring SB 532 and said human trafficking is a large issue in the world.

“There are believed to be over 18.7 million victims of human trafficking worldwide worth $150 billion,” McNamara said.

The bill also includes the use of money gained through the seizures of property dealing with human trafficking and prostitution. Eighty percent of the money would be transferred into the human trafficking prevention and victim assistance fund and the remaining 20 percent would go to local counties for use by the prosecuting attorney.

Rep. Gerald Torr, R- Carmel, said the bill is good public policy. But he said determining what happens to the funds seized from trafficking crimes may provide problems in the future.

Torr said he believes the Indiana Supreme Court will change the seizure part of the bill and other similar forfeiture laws due to conflicts with the constitution.

The bill passed 97-0 and now moves to the governor’s office to be signed into law, vetoed or allowed to become law without a signature.

Adam Lee is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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