Human trafficking bill is 1st passed by House this session

FILE: Texas House Chamber
FILE: Texas House Chamber

AUSTIN (AP) — The Texas House has passed its first bill of the legislative session, easily approving a measure to curb human trafficking that’s part of a broader border security package.

The proposal sponsored by Houston Democratic Rep. Senfronia Thompson passed 143-0 Monday. It makes it easier to prosecute forcing minors into prostitution while establishing a state anti-sex trafficking unit.

Thompson’s bill was fast-tracked through the Legislature because Gov. Greg Abbott made border security an “emergency item.” That exempted proposals on the topic from constitutional prohibitions against lawmakers passing bills during the first 60 days of the session.

The Legislature reached the 60-day mark Friday, though, meaning more approved bills are poised to follow Thompson’s.

The Senate’s first bill, a road funding measure that was also an Abbott emergency item, came March 4.

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