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The California Legislature Has a Dismal Record on Stopping Human Trafficking



After unanimously passing three committee votes and a floor vote in the California Senate, SB 14 was defeated in the Assembly Public Safety Committee when all five Democrats on the committee registered an NVR (No Vote Recorded). They did not want to be on record as voting no on a bill that simply would have added “human trafficking of a minor” to the list of serious felony crimes. NVR is a cowardly way of avoiding accountability for your vote. If you have not seen the movie Sound of Freedom, go see it and then judge this vote for yourself.


SB 14 is one of a long list of bills that both Republican and Democrat legislators have filed to bring attention to and allow for enhanced penalties for those engaged in the trafficking of children. Regardless of the party affiliation of the bill author, the Democrats have defeated these:

  1. AB 229 (Joe Patterson), of the 2023 Legislative Session, would have expanded the crimes that are within the definition of a violent felony subject to additional penalties to include additional forms of sexual crimes, human trafficking, and felony domestic violence. AB 229 failed passage in committee.

  2. AB 1655 (Seyarto), of the 2021-2022 Legislative Session, would have prohibited plea bargaining in cases charging human trafficking of a minor.

  3. SB 1042 (Grove), of the 2021-2022 Legislative Session, would have added human trafficking to the list of “violent” felonies as well as to the list of “serious” felonies for all purposes. SB 1042 failed passage in the Senate Public Safety Committee.

  4. SB 1072 (Dahle), of the 2021-Died in Senate Public Safety Committee.

  5. AB 537 (Acosta), of the 2017-2018 Legislative Session, would have added crimes, including human trafficking involving sexual exploitation, to the list of “serious” felonies. AB 537 failed passage in committee.

  6. AB 1321 (Stone), of the 2013-2014 Legislative Session, would have added crimes, including human trafficking, to the list of “serious” felonies. AB 1321 was held in this committee.

  7. AB 1188 (Pan), of the 2011-2012 Legislative Session, would have added four new offenses relating to child abuse to the list of “violent” felonies, and added five new offenses related to human trafficking and the abuse of a child to the “serious” felony list. AB 1188 failed passage in this committee.

  8. AB 16 (Swanson), of the 2009-2010 Legislative Session, would have added human trafficking to the list of “serious” and “violent” felonies. AB 16 failed passage in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

  9. SB 440 (Denham), of the 2009-2010 Legislative Session, would have added human sex trafficking to the list of “violent” felonies. It failed passage in the Senate Public Safety Committee.

  10. AB 426 (Galgiani), of the 2007-2008 Legislative Session, would have added human trafficking to the list of “serious” and “violent” felonies. AB 426 failed passage in the Senate Public Safety Committee.


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