RI Senate passes human-trafficking reforms

The Rhode Island Senate Chamber

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Rhode Island Senate has passed a bill introducing sweeping reforms to the state’s human-trafficking laws.

The Providence Journal reports the bill passed Wednesday increases penalties for traffickers and restitution for victims.

SPECIAL REPORT: Human Trafficking in Rhode Island »

Sponsored by Democratic Sen. Cynthia Coyne, the bill would align Rhode Island with other states such as Delaware, New Hampshire and West Virginia that have all adopted similar legislation.

Coyne says the law comes from the nonprofit organization Uniform Law Commission, which helps states draft matching laws against an industry that “inherently crosses borders.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island had opposed the bill, saying it would create overlapping statutes.

The Senate and the House each passed a similar version of the bill in 2016, but they were both withheld.

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Information from: The Providence Journal, http://www.providencejournal.com

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