Gov. Scott Highlights Efforts to Fight Human Trafficking
By Space Coast Daily // July 31, 2015
Signs Four Bills to Support Survivors of Trafficking
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – On Thursday, Governor Rick Scott highlighted efforts Florida is taking to combat human trafficking and help victims of these horrendous crimes.
Governor Scott ceremonially signed four bills that raises awareness of the signs of human trafficking, protects survivors from further exploitation, and establishes harsher punishment against perpetrators.
Last week, the Governor also held a bill signing ceremony in Miami.
Governor Rick Scott said, “Our goal is to end all forms of human trafficking present in Florida and to protect our state’s most vulnerable citizens. I am honored to join many advocates in the Tampa area today to sign legislation against human trafficking and provide funding for more safe houses in Florida. By working together, we can continue to shine a light on this crime so every person trapped by any form of exploitation is rescued and restored.”
Attorney General Pam Bondi said, “I want to thank Governor Scott for his efforts to stop human trafficking in Florida and for the additional funds in this year’s budget to help victims of this abhorrent crime heal in a safe environment. The Statewide Council on Human Trafficking will continue to work with Governor Scott and state lawmakers to make Florida a zero-tolerance state for human trafficking.”
Governor Scott ceremonially signed the following bills:
• HB 369 – Human Trafficking – This bill requires the display of human trafficking public awareness and reporting signs in certain locations.
• HB 465 – Human Trafficking – This bill enhances protections for victims of human trafficking and provides enhanced sanctions for a person who solicits another to commit prostitution.
• HB 467 – Public Records/Human Trafficking Victims – This bill expands an exemption from public records requirements for criminal intelligence and investigative information that may reveal the identity of human trafficking victims.
• HB 469 – Public Records – This bill provides an exemption from public records requirements for the location of facilities serving victims of sexual exploitation and human trafficking.
The Governor also highlighted $2.6 million in the “KEEP FLORIDA WORKING” budget for five safe homes for victims and other service providers located across the state, as well as $250,000 for Selah Freedom and over $2 million for the PACE Centers for Girls. This funding includes three safe homes in the Miami area – the Agape Network, Camillus House and Kristi House.
Governor Scott also recognized $250,000 for Selah Freedom and $2 million for the PACE Centers for Girls. Three of the five safe houses receiving funding are located in Miami:
Camillus House (Miami) – $500,000
Kristi House (Miami) – $550,000
Agape Network (Miami) – $100,000
The Porch Light (Lakeland) – $50,000
Devereux (Orlando) – $359,999