Save Senate Bill 972 - Fight Human Trafficking
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Dear Mr. President:
Florida lags only behind California and Texas as a haven for human traffickers and their victims. Florida’s tourist economy makes it an ideal destination for sex traffickers. Also, the state’s large immigrant population makes it an attractive destination for labor exploitation. By some estimates, approximately 25% of the victims of human trafficking are children. Florida does not have to occupy the “bottom of the barrel” when it comes to fighting this scourge. Legislation (SB 972) has been introduced that could make Florida a leader – a champion – in the fight against this epidemic, instead of just one more big state that is part of The Problem, not its solution.
Until recently, legislation has been moving through the House and Senate that would make Florida an innovative leader in the fight against human trafficking (SB 972 by Sen. Bracy / HB 1165 by Rep. Spano). Now that legislation is stalled in the Senate, and appears dead for this session. Floridians deserve better. SB 972 was approved unanimously at every committee stop before now. But, narrow special interests have quietly worked behind the scenes to scuttle the bills, putting profits over human dignity and decency. Those who oppose this legislation have had multiple opportunities to speak up in committee hearings about any concerns they might have, but have chosen to remain silent. Efforts have been made to amend the legislation to address their behind-the-scenes concerns, but even concessions THAT THEY DEMANDED were not enough to satisfy them.
While they are publicly mute, their actions to delay, dismantle and destroy the bills’ chances of becoming law this year speak loudly to what motivates them: profits over people. We are sorry to have to say it, but their actions reek of exactly the kind of thing the bill is meant to fight: turning a blind eye to the worst in human nature in the name of greed.
We cannot in good conscience sit idly by and let this happen when so many innocent lives are at risk and we have an opportunity to do something about it, NOW.
We respectfully request your emergency intervention to request the Senate waive its rules, withdraw CS/SB 972 from all committees of reference and bring this good proposal to fight human trafficking to the Senate floor for an up-or-down vote on this legislation.
Allowing the “process” to delay the consideration and passage of this legislation unnecessarily puts more young people at risk. Please join us in taking a stand against human trafficking.
Cc: The Honorable Rick Scott, Governor of Florida
The Honorable Richard Corcoran, Speaker of the House of Representatives
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