Human trafficking bill making progress in Florida Legislature

Updated: May. 3, 2019 at 3:14 PM EDT
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SARASOTA (WWSB) - House and Senate lawmakers are trying to agree on legislation that would aim to slow human trafficking in Florida as the 2019 regular session comes to a close.

Human trafficking involves the illegal practice of selling people for sex, labor or often both.

The Senate passed a bill that would better train law enforcement to identify victims, tighten licensing requirements for massage parlors, and create a database of pimps and those who solicit prostitution.

State Senator Lauren Book says human trafficking affects people from geographic, socioeconomic and racial groups.

“A lot of people want to believe that this is a problem that happens in other countries and other places," Book said. "But this is something that is happening and it is very real, right here in our state. Actually, Florida is 3rd in the nation for human trafficking.”

The legislation now goes back to the House for consideration. A prior bill that passed that chamber mostly dealt only with massage parlors.

An agreement on the issue must be reached by the end of the day Friday, the final day non-budget related bills can be considered.

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