Nebraska would acknowledge the problem of human trafficking and take steps to attack it under a bill moving forward in the legislature.
LB 1145 sponsored by Sen. Amanda McGill of Lincoln would take a number of steps aimed at curbing human trafficking. Penalties for pimps would increase. Police would be allowed to seize the property of those involved in human trafficking. Those who prove to be victims of human trafficking would be allowed to file a motion to rid their record of a conviction of prostitution. It advanced on a 35-0 vote.
Also, the bill calls for the creation of a commission to study the problem and make suggestions for further action.
Floor debate in the Unicameral featured expressions ranging from shock that human trafficking has become a problem in Nebraska to disgust at the thought of how victims become entrapped in a modern-day form of slavery.
Sen. Tom Carlson of Holdrege made the issue personal to fellow senators by asking them to consider to what extent they would go if their daughter were caught in the web of human trafficking.
“We would do everything that we could. We would spend every dollar that we could get our hands on, including our own, to try and rescue our daughter out of that circumstance,” Carlson stated.
Also under the bill, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline number would be posted at high-profile establishments throughout the state. State government officials would be required to undergo training on ways to spot human trafficking and to help victims.
AUDIO: Unicameral floor debate on LB 1145 [45 min]
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45}