Governor Youngkin signs legislation aimed at eradicating human trafficking

Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 5:14 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - A task force will soon begin work aimed at eradicating human trafficking in the Commonwealth.

Governor Glenn Youngkin signed seven pieces of legislation aligned with that goal Wednesday in Richmond. Some of it includes training for law enforcement and hotel staffers. Other pieces support human trafficking victims with reduction of certain legal fees and access to in-state tuition.

The signing concluded with a swearing in ceremony for members of the newly formed Commission to Prevent Human Trafficking and Support Survivors.

“What I ask you to do is take this moment and plug in. That’s the role of our commission,” Youngkin explained. “To give everyone a landing spot so that we can comprehensively utilize the extensive efforts across the Commonwealth and make them work together.”

Three people from southwest Virginia are on that commission, including Bedford County Sheriff Mike Miller, retired Bedford County Sheriff Michael Brown, and Keith Farmer, the Director of the Roanoke-based organization, Straight Street.

The bills the governor signed included:

HB 258 - Hotels; human trafficking training.

HB 283 & SB 467 - Human trafficking; training for law-enforcement personnel.

HB 526 - Victims of human trafficking; eligibility for in-state tuition.

HB 711 - Writ of vacatur; victims of sex trafficking, payment of fees or costs.

HB 1023 - Family life education curricula, certain; optional instruction on human trafficking of children.

HB 1334 - Child abuse and neglect; amends definition, valid complaint.

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