It has other components, including a mandate that convicted traffickers be listed on the state sex offender registry — something that doesn’t happen now.
The effort comes as Unterman has formed an alliance with a bipartisan group of House members to pass the legislation. They are working together to merge Unterman's version of the proposal with a similar House version — House Bill 244 — with hopes to assure final passage. They have also nicknamed the effort as the "Safe Harbor/Rachel's Act" in honor of a young woman named Rachel who testified earlier this week during a committee hearing.
SB 8, which passed on a 52-3vote, sets out the parameters of the proposal. The companion SR 7 would ask voters statewide for permission to create the new state fund and use it solely to help trafficking victims. Because SR 7 proposes amending the Georgia Constitution, it requires a higher bar to pass the Legislature, including a two-thirds majority in both chambers. It met that bar in the Senate, passing 53-3.
Among those who have spoken on behalf of the effort: Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vernon Keenan; Frank Mulcahy, the executive director of the Georgia Catholic Conference; and the Georgia Municipal Association.