Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed a bill into law Monday that strengthens the state's human trafficking statutes, with an emphasis on protecting children from commercial sexual exploitation.
"Kansas has made great strides forward in the fight against modern-day slavery with this new law," Gov. Brownback said. "This will not only strengthen our ability to severely punish traffickers, it will give us valuable new tools to protect vulnerable young victims so they can have hope of a new life and break a cycle of exploitation."
Governor Brownback and Attorney General Derek Schmidt sought input from law enforcement agencies, social service providers and key stakeholders when crafting the new law.
"This is the first comprehensive anti-human trafficking law in Kansas history. As we have throughout our state's history, Kansas today took another positive step in the struggle for human dignity, and I applaud the Governor and legislators for their strong dedication to this measure."
The new law:
- Establishes a Human Trafficking Victim Assistance Fund to provide support for those victimized by human trafficking. The fund will be paid for through mandatory fines on people convicted of human trafficking and related sex crimes.
- Provides for special Child in Need of Care procedures for children who have been subjected to human trafficking and expedites expungement procedures for those convicted of selling sexual relations if they were subject to coercion.
- Creates the crime of "commercial Sexual Exploitation of a Child", increasing the penalties of the existing crimes of patronizing a prostitute and promoting prostitution of persons under the age of 18. Increased penalties and sentencing enhancements are included for a number of other related crimes.
- Allows the Attorney General to provide additional training and tools for law
Governor Brownback signed three additional bills Monday, bringing the total number of bills signed during the 2013 Legislative session to 119.
Senate Bill 199 establishing the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center at the University of Kansas Medical Center.
HB 2319 creates the Coalition of Innovative Districts Act, the purpose of which is to allow up to ten percent of the state's school districts, at any one time, to opt out of most state laws and rules and regulations in order to improve student achievement.
Sub HB 2024 creates the Kansas Roofing Contractor Registration.