Back in July, RedState reported on SB 14, which would make human trafficking of a minor a serious felony in California. This is a serious issue for this state. Along with the rampant crime that is plaguing California communities, thanks to the porous Southern Border, California is a hotbed for human trafficking. Don't believe us? Even the feckless California Attorney General has said so.
California – a populous border state with a significant immigrant population and the world's fifth largest economy – is one of the nation's top destination states for trafficking human beings.
The bulletin went on to talk about all the bills presented that were supposed to help combat human trafficking. So, it was befuddling that SB 14 almost did not make it past the Assembly Public Safety Committee, as our Managing Editor Jennifer Van Laar reported.
The bill cleared the state Senate with bipartisan support back in April, but none of the Assembly Public Safety Committee’s six Democrats voted to move it out of committee. The two Republicans voted yes[...].
Between Governor Gavin Newsom's displeasure over the lack of urgency from his fellow Democrats and the reconsideration two days later by those Democrats (they were shamed), SB 14 was taken off life support and went to the Assembly for a vote.
She does not care the average age of the minors that are sex trafficked is 10 years old. The only thing she cares about is her phone lines are blowing up. This the same lady that said she wanted to give the sexual predators housing and mental health treatment instead of prison!— Joey - Master of Wit and Sarcasm (@jjstyx) July 13, 2023
As Van Laar further reported, the Republicans in the Assembly sought to force a floor vote:
A flurry of activity occurred Wednesday, starting with cryptic remarks from Newsom in which he said he’d been in touch with Sen. Grove about the bill and wanted to see what he could do, followed by comments from Asm. Speaker Robert Rivas, who likewise indicated that he’d spoken to Grove and that reporters should keep an eye on the bill. Rivas also stated that he had some concerns about how the bill was handled in committee. Then, it was announced that Assembly Public Safety Committee chair Asm. Reggie Jones-Sawyer would meet with Grove Wednesday afternoon regarding the bill.
Grove held a brief press conference after the meeting, saying that it was a productive meeting and that nothing was decided, but made it clear that she is seeking a rules waiver to allow the bill – with no amendments – to be voted on by the full Assembly. Assembly Republicans confirmed that they will attempt to force a floor vote. Given Speaker Rivas’ comments earlier Wednesday, it’s likely that the bill will receive a floor vote.
On Monday, that vote happened and SB 14 passed the Assembly 79-0.
#SB14 to make human trafficking of a minor a serious felony in California just passed the Assembly 80-0 after previously being voted down in the public safety committee. Thank you @ShannonGroveCA for defending victims. This is a rare win for sanity and common sense in our state. pic.twitter.com/d9vwJrN73K— Josh Hoover (@joshua_hoover) September 12, 2023
Very rare. This same Assembly just voted in AB 957 which criminalizes parents who refuse to "affirm" their child's gender identity. Still on the docket are a passel of other horrible bills that will probably get full votes from this body before the legislative session is over. So, the fact that a bill that will not only save lives but restore true justice passed this legislature is nothing short of a miracle. SB 14 is scheduled to return to the Senate for approval of "tweaks" made by the Assembly.
BREAKING: Bill that makes child sex trafficking in California a serious felony to keep repeat offenders in prison longer passes the Assembly 79-0.— Ashley Zavala (@ZavalaA) September 12, 2023
Now heads back to the Senate for approval of tweaks made to the bill. pic.twitter.com/je3FOQZTSt
The hope is that those tweaks maintain the integrity of the bill. Let's also pray that Newsom will quickly sign it once it crosses his desk.