A bill is nearing final passage that would strengthen Kentucky's human trafficking law by increasing punishments for offenders and bolstering protections for victims.
The state Senate passed the bill Thursday evening. The House approved the measure last month. But it must return to the House for approval of a minor amendment that requires people to report suspected human trafficking activity to police.
Human trafficking is forcing someone to work or engage in sex acts for money.
The bill bars authorities from arresting juvenile victims and instead mandates that they receive treatment and other protections. The bill also requires offenders to forfeit property used in the crimes and pay a $10,000 fine, all of which would finance a fund for victims and training for police.