There are some causes that seemingly would be obvious even to liberal Democrats — but apparently they are not. One is the urgent need to bring the hammer down on the insidious practice of child trafficking.
California liberals had to be dragged kicking and screaming to that conclusion. Finally, the Assembly Public Safety Committee passed the bill that would make child trafficking a major felony in the state.
Senate Bill 14, which was presented by Republican state Sen. Shannon Grove, sailed through the Assembly with a 79-0 vote. It now returns to the Senate for final approval after a revision was added two weeks ago.
BREAKING: Bill that makes child sex trafficking in California a serious felony to keep repeat offenders in prison longer passes the Assembly 79-0.
Now heads back to the Senate for approval of tweaks made to the bill. pic.twitter.com/je3FOQZTSt
— Ashley Zavala (@ZavalaA) September 12, 2023
The addendum established that human trafficking victims will not be prosecuted as they are at times forced to assist their captors.
Grove celebrated the successful vote, saying California moved a step closer to ensuring that the “horrific crime” of child trafficking is a serious felony. Repeat offenders will face enhanced jail time for their heinous acts with children.
If the bill becomes law, it will ensure that those found guilty of child trafficking face sentencing for a strikeable offense. This means repeat offenders or those guilty of further strikeable acts could face longer sentences — including life in prison.
Grove declared its purpose is to keep repeat offenders from leaving prison early.
As obvious as the need was for such a law, California Democrats blocked its passage five previous times. A key committee stood in its way as part of its program against increasing prison sentences and thus the incarcerated population.
Even for those convicted of child trafficking.
The bill passed the state Senate earlier this year only to once again run into a brick wall in the Assembly Public Safety Committee. Leftist members were forced to backtrack on their decision, however, after a deluge of scorn and criticism poured into the body.
Some state liberals, including Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, pressured the committee to see the light and admit that child trafficking is a serious felony.
GOP Assemblyman James Gallagher released a statement after the vote denouncing the difficulty in passing such a commonsense bill. “It shouldn’t take nationwide outrage for Democrats to finally stand with victims. With today’s vote, we are one step closer to delivering justice.”