SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic (DFL-Minneapolis) said today the Senate has overwhelmingly passed Senator Clare Oumou Verbeten’s bipartisan bill to improve and clarify shortcomings around Minnesota’s labor trafficking laws that have inadequately protected trafficking victims across Minnesota.
“Labor trafficking is a serious crime that can be devastating to victims who are unable to stand up for themselves.” said Majority Leader Dziedzic. “But since Minnesota passed its current labor trafficking law in 2005, very few cases have been prosecuted. Senator Oumou Verbeten’s bill strengthens, clarifies and corrects shortcomings in our state’s law and makes it much more likely to deter trafficking in the future.”
“I am honored to carry this historic bill that supports Minnesota workers. This represents the collective effort by advocates and working people to protect the most vulnerable members of our communities,” said Senator Oumou Verbeten. “From meatpacking floors in Worthington to construction sites in the Twin Cities. All workers deserve to be safe, secure, and fairly compensated in their job. This bill is a great first step in doing that.”
Since Minnesota adopted its first labor trafficking law in 2005, there have been only three labor trafficking cases charged in the state. The provisions in the bill bring Minnesota’s law into conformity with many other states who have since passed more effective state laws.
The House passed similar legislation in January, and bills now be taken up by House-Senate negotiators who will work out the differences between the two measures before sending it to the Governor to be signed into law.