The New York State Assembly unanimously passed the Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act on March 16 following the state Senate’s passage of the legislation earlier this year.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo also has pledged to sign the bill, according to information from the New York State Catholic Conference, the public-policy arm of the state’s bishops.
The legislation increases penalties for sex and labor trafficking, requires training for law enforcement and creates a civil right of action for victims of human trafficking.
The bill had passed the Senate in past years but had stalled in the Assembly because it was included in the governor’s 10-point "Women’s Equality Act." That proposal included a provision to expand late-term abortions in New York state.
The Senate had rejected the Women’s Equality Act proposal and passed individual parts of that legislation. Earlier this year, the Assembly’s new speaker, Carl Heastie, indicated a willingness to follow suit for individual components of the act that pertain to protecting women.
For more information, visit nyscatholic.org.