A measure which attempts to hit at the heart of human trafficking in Nebraska advances, but with a senator raising a question about it.
LB 843 easily advances to the next round of debate.
But, not before Sen. Paul Schumacher of Columbus raises a question about the wording of a section of the bill. Schumacher says current wording appears to give police officers the power to offer a prostitute immunity after arrest.
“Officers do not make determinations of immunity from prosecution. They don’t do it,” Schumacher tells colleagues during legislative floor debate. “They shouldn’t have that authority, particularly on an underworld activity like prostitution because, gee, that’s just an invitation for corruption.”
But, the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln, says granting immunity is necessary to get a prostitute to cooperate with police.
“She will be detained and questioned and can give up information if she’s seen as a victim rather than a criminal,” Pansing Brooks replies. “How many of you want to give up information if you think that you’re about to be arrested and detained and charged?”
The bill advances, though Schumacher says he will speak with Pansing Brooks about possibly re-wording the section.