Some of the topics we discuss in the legislature aren’t always easy to talk about. This week in committee, we heard heartbreaking testimony of the severity of sex trafficking in our state. It’s such a serious issue, and we have to look for ways to combat this problem.
Currently, Rep. Tim Miller is a leading advocate on this issue. I’m co-authoring both of his bills relating to fighting sex trafficking in Minnesota. One bill, HF714, invests over $2 million for shelters, expert personnel and other critical services for at-risk youth, and for those exploited by sex trafficking. Since this problem is bigger than most know – especially in rural Minnesota – I think more funds may be needed later on, but this is a step in the right direction.
The other piece of legislation, HF713, provides funding for the Minnesota Department of Health to create a statewide sex trafficking prevention plan. The commissioner will then present their findings to the legislature so we can continue to create laws to help these victims and fight this disgusting crime.
It’s a problem that’s sometimes hidden or difficult to talk about, but it’s something Minnesotans need to see as a significant, statewide issue. If you’re interested in helping combat sex trafficking, please take a second to watch this video from the Stearns County Attorney office.
I’ll continue working to fight this problem, and welcome any input or ideas. If you’d like to discuss ways to end sex trafficking in Minnesota, please contact my office.