Senator Pappas’ safe harbor bill considered for HHS omnibus bill

ST. PAUL, MINN. – Senator Sandra L. Pappas on Feb. 25 introduced a bill that modifies a law passed last session that strengthened Minnesota’s sex-trafficking laws. The safe harboring law created a safety net of housing and support for child sex trafficking victims. Two years ago, the legislature decided to stop prosecuting trafficked children, and last year’s bill protected them as well.

Senate File No. 1857 alters the current law by expanding the duties of the director to include the request for grant proposals for comprehensive services, including trauma-informed, culturally specific care. The bill appropriates $1,000,000 to the Commissioner of Human Services for safe harbor shelter and housing for sexually exploited youth, as well as $1,500,000 to the Commissioner of Health for grants for care services.

“Those impacted by the dreadful world of human trafficking deserve ample care that will help reintegrate them back to a safe, humane society,” Sen. Pappas said. “It’s important that the youth exploited by sex trafficking are cared for according to what they’ve experienced, which is something so severe that most of us could never understand. Affording them safe housing and trauma services is the very least we can do.”

The bill was heard on March 25th in the Health and Human Services committee and was re-referred to Finance Committee. The bill has also been amended and laid over for possible inclusion in the omnibus bill.

If you want to see Minnesota’s youth protected from the virility of sex-trafficking contact your Senator or Representative immediately. For more information, visit http://www.senate.mn/. Sen. Pappas welcomes your suggestions, questions, and concerns at sen.sandy.pappas@senate.mn.

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Senator Sandy Pappas
Sandy Pappas represents District 65, which includes portions of Saint Paul in Ramsey County in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

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