Wyoming Governor Matt Mead is signing legislation that will make his state the last in the nation to ban human trafficking. The bill would make human trafficking a state crime and give local law enforcement more power to make arrests. A federal law already bans human trafficking in the United States, but advocates say that companion state laws are necessary to empower local law enforcement and offer social services to victims.
State Representative Cathy Connolly (D-Laramie) said that the state law is needed to address what she described as several loopholes in the federal ban, involving the definition of severe abuse during trafficking and the requirement for victims to have crossed state lines. The bill would allow state law enforcement to handle cases that do not leave Wyoming and use a lower threshold for abuse than what is currently the federal standard. The ban would also allow the state to provide better social services to victims and to treat prostitutes involved in trafficking as victims rather than criminals.
Learn more at John Celock’s Huffington Post article: Wyoming Human Trafficking Ban To Become Law Next Week.