Legislators Consider Human Trafficing Law

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by Katelynn VanVekoven

Gov. Sean Parnell has included human trafficking as one of three topics for lawmakers to consider during the upcoming special session.

HB359, a bill introduced by the governor, passed the House
unanimously earlier this month, but the clock ran out before a
floor vote in the Senate.

The measure stiffens punishment against people convicted of sex
trafficking, removes the label of "prostitute" from victims and
changes procedural rules to make the justice process easier on
victims.

Concerns have been raised about the constitutionality of part of
the bill that would let witnesses testify by video during
competency hearings, but Parnell says he is confident Alaska courts
would land on his side.

Parnell has asked lawmakers to approve the measure when the
special session begins Wednesday afternoon.

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