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HARRISBURG, December 10, 2013 – State Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware) today announced that the state Senate unanimously passed a human trafficking bill that he helped develop, write and introduce. Senate Bill 75, introduced with Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R-12), was approved on the floor this afternoon following a press conference held earlier in the day urging the bill’s passage.

“Human trafficking is the second-most pervasive crime behind drug trafficking, and I am filled with immense pride that my colleagues in the Senate unanimously approved this legislation today,” Leach said. “Human trafficking is modern day slavery, perpetrated by devious individuals, and this bill will make it easier to prosecute them while creating an infrastructure of support for victims of this crime. I am proud to be a part of this movement and I want to thank everyone who was involved in the process of developing the bill.”

Greenleaf, heralding the bill’s passage, added that “today is an historic day for Pennsylvania.”

S.B. 75, as amended, would more clearly define human trafficking and increase the fines and penalties associated with committing the crime. The bill would create the Pennsylvania Council for the Prevention of Human Trafficking, increase training for first responders, raise awareness of the crime, and expand the resources available to victim service providers. Additionally, victims of human trafficking would be granted new defense alternatives under the legislation. For example, trafficking victims could not be punished as criminals under the law and could also receive restitution from their traffickers.

Leach added that this bill will make Pennsylvania a leader in the nation in its fight to end human trafficking. S.B. 75 now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.