Human trafficking laws in Kentucky would be strengthened to better protect victims while adding more punishments for offenders under a bill that has passed the House.
The chamber voted unanimously, 95-0, on Friday in favor of the measure, which now proceeds to the Senate for consideration.
The bill bars authorities from charging victims with prostitution and instead mandates that they receive treatment and other protections, such as protective custody, during an investigation. The bill also would require offenders to forfeit property involved in the crime and pay a $10,000 fine, all of which would finance a fund for Kentucky's human trafficking victims.
The House passed similar legislation last year, but it died in the Senate. Rep. Sannie Overly of Paris sponsored the bill.