H.B. 823, sponsored by Rep. Houston Gaines (R - Athens); H.B. 911, sponsored by Rep. Ed Setzler (R - Acworth); and S.B. 435, sponsored by Senator Brian Strickland (R - McDonough) are supported by the Governor and First Lady in an effort to end human trafficking in Georgia.
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"I would like to thank these members for their hard work and support for these important pieces of legislation," said Governor Kemp. "We look forward to working with the General Assembly in the coming weeks to hold bad actors accountable, give victims a second chance, and strengthen protections for our foster children."
"Representative Gaines, Representative Setzler, Senator Strickland, and their co-sponsors are leading the fight to end human trafficking, and I greatly appreciate their efforts," said First Lady Marty Kemp. "These bills will give a voice to the voiceless and send a clear signal that we will not stop until every victim is rescued and every perpetrator is brought to justice."
In accordance with a federal rule passed last summer through the U.S. Department of Transportation, this legislation will allow the Georgia Department of Driver's Services to impose a lifetime commercial driver's license ban on anyone convicted of trafficking an individual for labor servitude or sexual servitude if he or she used a commercial motor vehicle to commit the offense.
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This legislation closes a dangerous loophole in state law by prohibiting a foster parent from engaging in improper sexual behavior with children in their care. It also strengthens penalties for offenses of sexual misconduct by a foster parent.
This legislation will create multiple pathways specifically for survivors of human trafficking to restrict access to their criminal records and/or secure vacatur, which is an order essentially overturning or nullifying a criminal conviction. This legislation was developed in close coordination with advocacy groups, stakeholders, and members of the GRACE Commission.
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