Gov. Jerry Brown signs bills targeting human trafficking
Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed a series of bills aimed at cracking down on human trafficking in California.
One measure, AB 2466 by Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield (D-Woodland Hills), allows courts to "seize and freeze" a defendant's assets during prosecution. Another measure, SB 1133 by state Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), expands the list of assets subject to forfeiture upon a human trafficking conviction.
Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris applauded the legislation.
“With these new laws, California prosecutors and law enforcement officials will be able to seize assets of human traffickers, cripple their operations and aid victims,” Harris said in a statement. “Human trafficking is big business in California. It is a high profit criminal industry that is expanding rapidly across the globe, including here in California.”
Brown also signed another bill Monday to combat what authorities estimate to be a $32-billion industry. SB 1193 by state Sen. Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) requires certain businesses, including bars, strip clubs and truck stops, to post notices advertising telephone tip lines for members of the public and victims of human trafficking.
In November, voters will decide a ballot measure, Proposition 35, that would increase penalties for human trafficking violations, upping the maximum sentence to 15 years to life in prison and fines of up to $1.5 million.
-- Michael J. Mishak in Sacramento