May 12, 2014Assemblywoman Amy Paulin wants her bill that would protect victims of sex trafficking to be passed as a stand-alone bill this session.
The Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act has been a part of the controversial 10-point Women's Equality Agenda along with a bill to codify the Roe vs. Wade decision on abortion and other protections for women.
The package was passed last year in the Assembly as an omnibus bill while the Senate passed 9 of the 10 bills separately, voting down the abortion legislation.
Paulin announced Monday she hopes to pass her bill this year as a stand-alone in the Assembly as it was passed last year in the Senate. According to Paulin's spokesman Kevin Czerwinski, the move is meant to ensure passage of the bill this year.
The bill (A.2240-a/S.5879-b) would treat 16- and 17-year-olds arrested for prostitution as "persons in need of supervision" and provide them with specialized services, while also raising the penalty for traffickers and johns.
"The victims in these crimes are most often young women who have had their childhood stolen and their lives left in ruin because of greedy, depraved individuals," Paulin said. "The goal of the TVPJA is to help all those who have been commercially sexually exploited and provide them with the tools they need to rejoin society and recapture as normal a life as possible."
Paulin and Sen. Andrew Lanza, the Senate sponsor for the bill, will hold a press conference on Tuesday promoting the bill.