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H3757 The Next Step!

trafficking in south carolina
Dear Advocates,
Last Thursday went by so fast!  If any of you watched the proceedings in the House, you might have asked, as I did, “What happened?!”  Indeed, some of you called and sent emails asking that question.
Our bill’s champion, Rep. Nelson Hardwick, called during the proceedings, to let us know that the House applied the 24-hr Rule to HB 3757, and went on a two-week break, and that’s a good thing.
For you who have gone through the legislative process, you are shaking your heads with “right!”  Every step is a learning moment. Since Thursday, I’ve been inquiring about that rule, and how best we can use this time before the House reconvenes on Tuesday, April 17, at Noon. Rep. Hardwick is right. This action gives us time to educate and advocate, and to engage more citizens across this State.  You can find the bill listed on the House Calendar, for April 17, Page 10, on www.scstatehouse.gov   The session will start at Noon.
We have two weeks to engage our friends, neighbors, colleagues, local politicians (for example, City Council Presidents and City Mayors), Police Chiefs, Sheriffs, Firefighter Chiefs, and anyone we encounter, to call or visit their respective Representative in person.
What do we need to do?  We need at least one constituent from each district to talk with that district’s Representative directly, and to ask if he or she will support H.3757-Human Trafficking. These calls can be used not only for advocacy but also to continue to educate our legislators about human trafficking.
Call me or email me, if you need more information. The Lobby Day information is good to use for talking points. More will be forthcoming. Let me know if you have more ideas about how to reach the citizens of this state. As another advocate said:  “Emails, phone calls, petitions, victim stories, stats, blogs, tweets, news articles, letters to the Editor, Op Eds (especially by a Mayor or University President or Hospital President), Facebook…whatever people comfortable with …”
Some of our advocates are holding an all day Freedom Day event at College of Charleston on Saturday, April 14. Others are pulling together PSAs placed on YouTube. Others will be distributing flyers all over their counties. Others will hold film screenings at their university, such as Pee Dee Coalition & Francis Marion University on April 17.  I will be one of five panelists at a discussion on leadership, economic development and human trafficking at The Leadership Institute, Columbia College, on April 9, preceding the presentation by S. WuDunn, co-author of Half the Sky, at University of South Carolina, Grambrell Hall, on April 11.
Most important is the direct person-to-person talk with each SC Representative by a constituent. This is a time of renewal. Keep the faces and voices of victims of human trafficking in mind, so that no other person will ever experience this horrendous, egregious — I can’t find the word for it — crime ever, ever again. No more. No more buying and selling of people and no making money from the buying and selling of people — our daughters, sons, husbands, nieces, friends — boys, girls, women and men. No More.
Yours,
Betty
What is more just than the justice of freedom?
Betty J. Houbion
843.357.7010  [H]
847.373.4158  [C]
South Carolina

UPDATE on H.3757 the Bill is Good!

At midnight, the notice alighted my mobile’s screen:  H.3757 will be read today ! You will find the notice on the House Calendar for today, on Page 18, under SECOND READING STATEWIDE UNCONTESTED BILLS.   The following link should take you to the Calendar, and if you click on INDEX, you will see a listing of all bills being read in numerical order, and you can go to the page via that page, or click on Full Text. 
 
 
 
Please note that two more legislators have signed on as co-sponsors — Patrick and J.R. Smith.  Rep Smith is the Chairman of the House Ethics Committee.  We have a strong, solidly good bill.
 
Whoever can be present, go.  Nothing like hearing the debate and proceedings in person. If you didn’t have a chance to sit in the House or Senate on Lobby Day or have never been to the Statehouse while in session, you have something to look forward to doing, and why not when we have our bill being read,. Nevertheless, some of us cannot drop our work and family schedules, and some of us live at quite a distance from Columbia. So…. watch the proceedings via computer.
 
When the session begins at noon, go to www.scstatehouse.gov , and you will see a box to the left of the page, where you can click on Live Streaming Video for either the House or the Senate.
 
When the House approves the bill today, the bill will crossover to the Senate.  The Judiciary Subcommittee will merge it with S.1135, and move it through the process to the Senate floor for approval. At that point, we will have one bill, to go to the Governor for signing into law.
 
We have one clause which needs to be reinstated, the Asset Forfeiture clause. If it isn’t reinstated by the House today, and most likely it will not be reinstated today, then we will ask the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee to do so. Currently, we are rewording the clause. More about asset forfeiture is forthcoming.
 
If you attend in person, please say Hello to Rep Nelson Hardwick, and to your District Representative.  They might introduce you. Let them know you support this bill, to put an end to modern-day slavery, and what they are about to do, this bill will do it.  One of our advocates, and I apologize, I cannot remember her name, noted how appropriate this bill, for the full legislature to pass it into law the year before the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.
 
What a day this will be. It’s been a longtime coming, but it would not be here at all, if you had not stepped up and spoke out. Thank you.
 
Betty
 
 
Betty J. Houbion
843.357.7010  [H]
847.373.4158  [C]
South Carolina

“Caught in the Creative Act” Women’s Panel Discussion

 

Spring 2012 “Caught in the Creative Act” Women’s Panel Discussion on issues of economic development, health, human trafficking and political involvement

 6:00 pm, Monday April 9

 Breed Leadership Center on the Columbia College campus.  

 

ImageThis panel precedes Sheryl WuDunn’s event on Wednesday April 11 co-sponsored by Columbia College and USC at USC’s Gambrel Hall. WuDunn will speak about her book, Half the Sky. 

The panel, moderated by Janette Turner Hospital, will focus on each panelist’s expertise in women’s issues- internationally, nationally and in South Carolina. The five panelists bring a wealth of experience and knowledge that will set the stage for WuDunn’s insights.

Panelists:

·         Henri Baskins: international experience in assisting women address and reset community norms in areas of domestic abuse, prostitution, political involvement and economic development; national and state-wide expertise in women’s economic autonomy.

·         Heather Brant: national, international and state-wide expertise in women’s health

·         Betty Houbion: international and state-wide expertise in the realities of trafficking; national and international expertise in women’s economic development

·         Mickey Layden: international expertise in realities of trafficking; national and international expertise in women’s economic development

·         Carolyn Sawyer: national and state-wide expertise in women’s economic development

ADVOCATE ALERT: BREAKING NEWS: H.3757 Full Judicairy Committee Meeting

 
 
H.3757 moved out of the House Judiciary Criminal Laws Subcommittee to Full Judiciary Committee, with Favorable with Amendment. The notice was posted this morning.  The Judiciary Committee will debate the bill on Tuesday, March 27 (tomorrow! ), at 2:30 pm or 1 1/2 hrs after close of House Session, Blatt Building, Room 516 (see attachment and go to www.scstatehouse.gov ). 
 
If you can be present, the Committee will see the support, and seeing is believing. The Committee members will know first-hand about our commitment to South Carolina’s need to end human trafficking in our state and to prevent it from arising again.
 
If you cannot be there, please call your Representative, as a constituent, and ask for his or her support for this bill.  We need to do this today, no later than tomorrow morning, before the meeting. Best to call. Emails sent via the Statehouse web site will not arrive in time.
 
If you can, please also contact the Judiciary Committee members, to call for their support. Again, we need to do this before the meeting tomorrow afternoon. 
 
The Subcommittee struck the Asset Forfeiture clause. This is now being reconsidered and reworded, to re-enter into the bill.  This clause is vital to this bill, to any human trafficking bill. The clause that we propose is congruent with those of other states, such as that of Maryland and Florida, and with the South Carolina asset forfeiture law for trafficking in drugs.  The asset forfeiture clause would make sure that traffickers assets, such as boats, planes, trucks, residential brothel houses and cash, would be forfeited and placed in a fund to go to victims of human trafficking and service providers to human trafficking victims, and to reimbursement of law enforcement and court-related expenses.  It also sends a loud, clear message to traffickers that the money they make off the sale of women, men and children will be at risk of loss and that they will be out of business. 
 
Please call the Judiciary Committee members, and your district Representative, to ask for support. We need to enable this Committee to move the bill to the House Assembly for its approval, and send it to the Senate for its review and approval.  We’re halfway there, and still moving.
 
Thank you.
 
Betty
 
Betty J. Houbion
843.357.7010  [H]
847.373.4158  [C]
South Carolina

ALERT: Second H.3757 Human Trafficking Hearing, Wednesday 21, 9:00 am, Blatt 516

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Citizen advocates from all over the State of South Carolina convened at the Statehouse on January 24 to bring alive SC Lobby Day to End Human Trafficking. By the end of the day, they turned the world upside down, and a bill was introduced in the Senate – S.1135, the twin bill of H.3757 – a day of historical magnitude in the deep rich annuals of South Carolina.

This week, the House Judiciary Criminal Laws Subcommittee will hold a second hearing on H.3757. Our legislators are now listening, and see and hear and understand how important this bill is to the people of South Carolina. At the hearing on February 22, Subcommittee member Rep.Todd Rutherford asked, to paraphrase, “Isn’t there already a law against human trafficking?” He, like many of our legislators, knows that a law exists but they have not refreshed their memories about the law. Yes, Rep. Rutherford, there is a law on the books. It is a penalty law first passed in 2007. Last session, the legislature amended that law, making the crime of human trafficking a class A felony with a maximum prison sentence of 30 years.
This law is fantastic. So why do we need another law? This law on the books can ONLY be applied when a trafficker has been convicted.

Furthermore, this law applies to labor trafficking while skimming sex trafficking as “services.” The laws now pending in the House and Senate
are comprehensive laws, which will enable South Carolina law enforcement and government agencies to investigate, prosecute and convict traffickers, and work collaboratively with federal and cross-jurisdictional law enforcement and with NGOs or victim service providers. The piece
de resistance is that it makes sure that victim services will be reimbursed out of assets forfeited, and that portions of the proceeds will also go toward paying costs incurred by state and local law enforcement and courts. We currently are at the mercy of only federal law. This law will
reinforce and complement federal law, add incentives and form a solid unified front against human trafficking to end this crime against humanity, rip revenues out of it and prevent it from arising again. Below is a letter to the editor by one of the January 24 advocates, Lucy Hoffman
of Soroptimists International –Greenville: Hear her impassioned plea for this Legislature to stand up along the side of the other 42 states with strong up front state laws, to no longer be one of the states lagging behind when South Carolina was one of the first states to pass any law
against human trafficking:

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“Slavery is alive and well in South Carolina. If that got your attention, then trust me, it got mine as well. Human trafficking is a part of our every day lives. Last year, there were 163 phone calls to the hotline from South Carolina. Amazing, don’t you agree? Because we have major
interstates, private boating, and private planes, human trafficking can exist here within our borders quite easily. Additionally, we have limited resources for the counties in our state where the most activity takes place. Specifically, the southern part of Greenville County is a hotbed of
activity. Without more deputies and laws that allow them the power to arrest the criminals, we will continue to struggle with this hidden crime.

Do you know what Human Trafficking is? If not, you may want to do some research. You can start with http://www.polarisproject.org. When most Americans hear of this brutal and destructive crime, we think “immigrants” and other countries. Over 100,000 Americans are forced into
Human Trafficking each year. Staggering. What makes it more unbelievable is that it could be the woman working next to you, or the girl who rides the bus beside of you, or a friend of your child. This unspeakable crime exists through threats, coercion, and blackmail. Along with a healthy dose of brainwashing.

On Tuesday, January 24, 2012, I went with a group of women to Columbia for my first ever lobbying experience. I was curious. This was an historic day. One woman spearheaded this event – Betty Houbion. Together with Patricia Ravenhorst – an attorney who specializes in victim abuse – they put together this lobbying effort. Attorney General Alan Wilson spoke passionately about the cause. Representative Nelson Hardwick and Senator Hutto stood up against this horrendous crime. Senator Tom Davis has committed to helping get this bill through the statehouse. Before we left that day, the bill had received a number. We did not expect that. Those who had initiated this event were stunned. With absolute delight.

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This is what we are after. At this point in time, South Carolina does not have a bill outlawing Human Trafficking. All we can respond to is the federal law. We need more. For a state who claims that their rights often champion the federal laws, we need to ensure that all law enforcers know what they can do to punish the law breakers. We need South Carolina laws along with awareness and education. A lot to ask, but less than what is needed.

Thanks to all who have worked to get this bill into our house and now through it. We must stand up for those who cannot speak for themselves. It is not a choice – it is a crime.”

[NOTE: Big thanks goes to Polaris Project. They gave us the technical assistance at every step to make Lobby Day successful, and to make sure that our bills are congruent with federal law and aligned with laws of other states. ]

Uncovering Human Trafficking in Supply Chains with LexisNexis Due Diligence Dashboard

Trafficking In Persons Report Map 2010

Image via Wikipedia

 
Respectfully reprinted from: Lexis Nexis Government Info

A special thanks to Samir Goswami, Director of Corporate Responsibility, Rule of Law at LexisNexis, for today’s Government Info Pro post.

Read on…

When I used to visit my father at the Indian Embassy in Tripoli, Libya, the office compound was often flooded with desperate looking men in tattered clothing. They were sprawled out on the Embassy lawn, sleeping on the couches in the public areas, and showering in the bathrooms next to the receptionist’s desk. My father was a Diplomat and he told me that these were workers who were brought to Libya with promises of good jobs in the oil fields. However, once they got there they were often forced to work for long hours with minimal pay in brutal conditions. Those camped out at the Embassy were able to get away and were awaiting repatriation to their villages in India.

The oil they were forced to extract and process was headed to consumers in Western markets.

This was in 1985 and I was ten years old. Although at the time there were international labor conventions that recognized this form of deception and harm, it was not until fifteen years later in 2000 that the U.S. Congress passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. The international community didn’t enact the landmark “Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons” until 2003. Both of these measures define such elements of exploited labor as human trafficking and created comprehensive legislative frameworks to address the issue.

GROWING INTERNATIONAL AWARENESS AND LAWS:

The International Labor Organization estimates that out of 12.3 million forced labor victims worldwide, around 2.4 million are trafficked and that as many as 1.2 million are children. Much of this labor goes to produce goods that we commonly consume.  U.S. Department of Labor research indicates that forced and child labor is found in a variety of sectors including agriculture, textiles, manufacturing, food processing, fisheries and commodities such as cotton, rubber and in the extraction and processing of rare earth minerals that are found in modern day electronics. 

Thus, U.S. and foreign governments have created a regulatory framework to ensure that we recognize and assist victims, punish traffickers and don’t inadvertently support human trafficking by utilizing forced and child labor in the production of goods we consume. A few examples include:

  1. U.S. FAR Subpar 22.15: prohibition on federal procurement officials purchasing goods made with child labor.
  2. International Labor Organization Conventions 29, 105, 138 & 182: Provisions ratified by up to 175 countries towards the elimination of forced and child labor.
  3. U.S. FRAGO 06-188: Pentagon issued directive ensuring that the U.S. Department of Defense to eradicate human trafficking in labor recruiting practices.
  4. European Union Council Decision 2006/618/EC: Requires each EU member state to adopt measures to prevent and combat trafficking in persons.
  5. SAARC Convention on Regional Arrangements for the Promotion of Child Welfare in South Asia: Calls on all seven members of countries in South Asia to “eliminate the evil of child labor from the SAARC region”.

CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY AND GOOD GOVERNANCE:

In the U.S. this year, California enacted a “Supply Chain Transparency Act” that mandates corporations of a certain size doing business in the state to publicly disclose what steps they are taking to ensure that their supply chains are free of trafficked and slave labor. Supporters of the measure estimate that over 3,200 multinational corporations are impacted by this law and subsequently many law firms are now establishing practices to advise these multi-national corporations to become compliant. A federal version of this act was introduced in Congress last year to expand nationally the provisions enacted by California.

LEXISNEXIS DUE DILIGENCE DASHBOARD:

These laws were passed and multi-lateral agreements signed because of the global public’s heightened awareness about human trafficking, often referred to as a form of modern day slavery, and our desire to not buy such tainted goods. What limits our diligence, however, is a lack of credible information that procurement officials can access to ensure that their supply chains are free of goods produced through such exploitation.  Increasingly, corporate and government procurement officials are in need of information from trusted sources to help them uncover and manage potential risks and comply with legislative frameworks and international conventions. However, supply chains are complicated, and often times it is difficult to expose the last tier in a process that may span the globe.

Due Diligence Dashboard, a LexisNexis product can assist. DDD synthesizes data from more than 20 global databases including public records and news and company filing information to uncover risks in supply chains. For example, a DDD search of Foxconn, the contractor utilized by Apple to produce its products in China uncovered 1,500 negative news articles dating back to 1997. As the Apple example indicates, there are many benefits to accessing this type of information: DDD allows for a company to make better decisions about its contractors by uncovering crucial information to avoid devastating and costly risks to the company’s brand.

CREATING A “FREEDOM DIVIDEND”

Most importantly, preemptive access to such information can allow a company to work with a potential supplier to improve working conditions in their factories and incentivize the manufacturing plants of their sub-contractors to make positive changes. Inspiring such action through access to information can provide a monetary incentive for a dubious sub-contractor to improve wages and enhance working conditions and safety. By doing so, entire communities can be uplifted through the better treatment of workers.

Over the long term, such improvements can unlock human potential and create business enabling environments that foster further and legitimate economic growth. Kevin Bales, renowned author and founder of Free the Slaves, describes such action as opportunities to create a “freedom dividend”. “You get people out of slavery and they begin to work for themselves, they generate incomes, they buy things, they build schools, it changes the whole community in which they live.”

As LexisNexis actively seeks to expand the depth and viability of our due diligence products, we embed good governance and social responsibility into our business development strategy. This has a positive impact on our own growth and a tremendous impact on society, allowing us to satisfy our business objective of returning value to our shareholders and customers, and fulfilling our underlying purpose to advance the rule of law.

*More about Samir Goswami:

Samir has spent the last 15 years building various collaborations and coalitions around social justice issues. He is the recipient of numerous awards including, “40 Who Have Made a Difference” by Business and Professional People for the Public Interest, the “2010 Impact Award” by Chicago Foundation for Women, and he was awarded a 2010 Chicago Community Trust Fellowship in recognition of his work on human trafficking issues.

Remarks at President Lincoln’s Cottage

From the website of the US Dept. of State, Diplomacy in Action

 

Remarks

Luis CdeBaca
Ambassador-at-Large, Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Washington, DC
February 23, 2012

 


 

As prepared for delivery

Thank you all very much. And thank you, Brad Myles. The Polaris Project is on the front lines of the fight against modern slavery. A few years ago, a hotline was set up to report suspected cases of trafficking in persons. It’s a phone number that teachers and neighbors and concerned individuals can call when something looks suspicious. It’s a phone number the U.S. Government gives out to immigrants entering the country along with information about their rights and the potential warning signs of trafficking in persons. It has resulted in the investigation and prosecution of traffickers.

When those phones ring, they ring in the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, which the Polaris Project operates. And thanks to Brad’s intrepid leadership, the Resource Center is growing busier all the time.

And I’d like to thank Erin Carlson Mast and all the staff here at President Lincoln’s Cottage, both for working to make this new exhibit a reality and for all they do in their work for the National Trust. The National Trust for Historic Preservation does more than just maintain important sites across our country–they preserve our history and our heritage.

They preserve for posterity parts of our history such as this house, where Lincoln put pen to paper and took the first steps toward a policy of Emancipation. The Trust also preserves sites such as the Belle Grove Plantation, about 80 miles west of here, where for more than a century, hundreds of slaves labored on thousands of acres. Where in 1864 blood was spilled and lives lost as General Philip Sheridan rallied his men against a surprise attack, putting an end to the Confederate invasion of the North.

These are the places where our country was made, where our history—good and bad—was written. Places that allow us to hear, if we only listen, the voices reminding us who we are, and what we must become.

And sometimes the men and women who work at the Trust have brought voices that we don’t always recognize. Not just Lincoln or Sheridan or Douglass, but like the people whose voices are heard once again because of the Trust’s Vice President for Historic Sites, my friend and classmate Estevan Rael-Gálvez. Because of Estevan, we know about Rosario Romero, a Navajo woman who lived in New Mexico in the latter half of the 19th Century. Her given name, Ated-bah-Hozhoni, meant “Happy Girl” in Navajo, but she was taken from the wreckage of her family after a raid. She was sold to a man named Martínez for 150 pesos and given the name Rosario.

She lived 70 more years. During most of that time, slavery had already been outlawed, but for three generations the census places her in the service of that same family, listed in the census records from the time as a “servant,” and a “day laborer,” and a “wool weaver.”

The reality, of course, is that she had been a slave. A tragedy in the unknown history of Indian Slavery in our country. Not just forgotten, but in a society that tried to make sure everyone forgot, that the crime went unnamed, unremarked. And it would have, but for Estevan.

The Trust is working to make sure these stories are told. And they need to be told. They need to be seared into our collective memories, because the dark chapters in our history as well as our triumphs need to guide us as we chart the course toward our country’s future.

Of course, there is no greater blemish on our nation’s history—no darker chapter in the story of America—than that of chattel slavery. And there is no greater inspiration—no greater example of American values and the American spirit—than men and women who dedicated themselves to seeing that institution eliminated.

Whether they themselves escaped the bonds of slavery and then made it their work to help others do the same, or led soldiers into battle, or sat in a room and wrote the ideas of the Abolitionist Movement into our law, the fruits of their labors illuminate our history. Their example stands today as a challenge to fight this evil, no matter where or when it may occur.

And President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and the other members of the Cabinet are heeding that call, fighting what the President calls “the intolerable yoke of modern slavery.”

On the first of this month, we marked National Freedom Day, commemorating the date that President Lincoln signed the 13th Amendment and sent it to the states for ratification. Freedom Day. It started under President Truman; it grew into Black History month. In fact, the Freedom Day movement was founded by Major Richard Wright, born into slavery but by the end of his life a successful businessman. A survivor, whose voice could not be stilled.

Read more…

Update on Judiciary Subcommittee Debate

Your advocacy at the Statehouse really pushed it forward. That day and all that it accomplished – that was a historical milestone. This Wednesday we witnessed another milestone laid to rest. Thanks to those wo testified about human trafficking and your singular efforts, including the SC League of Women Voters   USC School of Social Work students, SCCADVASA, Pee Dee Coalition Against Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault, and Laura Hudson and Tammy Besherse, the two who worked diligently on this bill, the Subcommittee voted to amend H.3757 with the newly reworded bill as introduced in the Senate and is now S.1135.  The House bill will keep the same number.  The House and Senate bills are now twin bills exactly. We are truly grateful.
What’s next?  We need to ask our Senators to co-sponsor S.1135, and we need urgently to ask the House Judiciary members to co-sponsor and support H.3757.  We need you write the House Judiciary Criminal Law Subcommittee Chairman Bruce Bannister, to thank the committee for giving this bill its serious consideration, and to ask for the Subcommittee to move the bill to the full Judiciary Committee as soon as possible. We need South Carolina to stand shoulder to shoulder with the other 42 States with state human trafficking laws already on the books.
Chairman Bannister mentioned that they will schedule another hearing, and possibly one other depending on the deliberations.  We’ll watch for that hearing, and I’ll send an Advocate Alert on notice.
Keep the pressure on.  Thank you. Enjoy your weekend.
Ciao,
Betty
Human Trafficking, South CarolinaPS:  Rachel Lloyd’s book, Girls Like Us, is now in soft cover – or will be — and can be purchased at a special pre-order price — onamazon.com   Her book about her experience as a victim of trafficking at age 13, and the work her organization, GEMS, is doing today to restore and reintegrate victims of human trafficking.
Betty J. Houbion
843.357.7010  [H]
847.373.4158  [C]
South Carolina

We Need YOUR Help at the Statehouse Wednesday, February 22

Human Trafficking in South Carolina, H.3757

 

Dear Advocates:

We need all of you next Wednesday.  We learned this morning that the House Judiciary Criminal Laws Subcommittee will debate H.3757 on Wednesday, February 22, at 9:00 AM, in Room 516, Blatt Building, (House of Representatives office building), Columbia.
We need to speak to the bill itself.  They know the need.  If you wish to speak, sign in when you come into the room. Your presence will be most appreciated, and will demonstrate the need for this bill.  Bring others with you.  Distribute this alert broadly.  Pack it in.
Go to www.scstatehouse.gov .  On the right side of the Home page, you will see meeting dates and links to agendas for the meetings. Monitor it. Committees tend to cancel or reschedule meetings, or revise agendas. If I receive a notice as such, I will certainly let you know right away.
The House Judiciary Criminal Laws Subcommittee members are:
Hon. Bruce Bannister, Chairman                 
Hon. Peter McCoy                                                                               
Hon. Eddie Tallon                                                                                 
Hon. Leon Stavrinakis                                                                          
Hon. Todd Rutherford
Before you leave the grounds, you might want to visit your legislator and senator (for S.1135) again, and talk about how we need to have a bill to pass into law this year.  Ask for their co-sponsorship.  Send a thank you’s to Representative Nelson Hardwick and Senator Hutto, and the current co-sponsors of each bill, for their support and sponsorship of their respective bill.  They need to know that we are right with them, and enable them to move their peers to pass this legislation.
Send a message to the Chairs of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, asking them for their support. They are House Judiciary Committee Chairman James H. Harrison and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Glenn F. McConnell.
The AG held a joint news conference this week with SLED Director Mark Keel and the Sheriff’s Association Director Jeff Moore.  Go to the following article for a briefing of how the AG once again raised human trafficking to top priority this year.  This is another historical milestone:
They are listening.  This could not have happened without all that you do. Thank you.
See you in Columbia on Wednesday,
Betty

Take action now to help stomp out slavery in South Carolina.

Take action now to help stomp out slavery in South Carolina. The state legislature has put forth a bill that strengthens current laws against human trafficking and supports victims of this terrible crime.

You can make a difference in the fight against human trafficking in South Carolina. Now is the time to let your legislator know you support this new bill. House Bill 3757 is a comprehensive bill that strengthens current laws against trafficking by making it easier for prosecutors to target those who traffic minors for sex, authorizing law enforcement to seize assets of traffickers, and establishing greater support for victims of human trafficking. Call or write to your representative today, and ask them to pass H. 3757.

Ask your representatives to strengthen anti-trafficking laws in South Carolina now!

Thanks for taking action,

James Dold
Policy Counsel