Friday, May 3, 2013

House Bill 3241

Today, I passed House Bill 3241,which provides the state with additional tools to address the crime of human trafficking.

According to a report published by the Human Trafficking Prevention Task force just a few years ago, 1 out of every 5 victims of trafficking are trafficked on Interstate 10.

Criminal enterprises are taking advantage of the large number of major national highways that run through our state. While Texas has been at the forefront of fighting trafficking by increasing penalties for traffickers and focusing on the resources for the victims of this heinous crime, this is not enough. We need the tools to go after the money these criminal enterprises are making from this crime.

House Bill 3241 would allow the attorney general to bring a civil suit in the name of the state against a person or enterprise for the offense of racketeering related to human trafficking. The attorney general is required to provide notice to the prosecutors with jurisdiction. The bill further requires coordination and cooperation with local prosecutors as to not interfere with any ongoing investigations or prosecutions.

House Bill 3241 allows for prosecutors to abate the suit if it is determined and provides an 80/20 split with 80% going to the state, with first $10 million going to Crime Victim Compensation Fund. The final 20% would be distributed on a pro rata basis to law enforcement and attorneys that help with the suit.

We must punish those that engage in human trafficking and exploit these men, woman, and children, by hitting them where it hurts most, their pocket books.

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