Saturday, May 25, 2024

Parker files bills to fight human trafficking

State Senator Tan Parker, R-Flower Mound, on Friday filed legislation aimed at combating human trafficking in Texas, just days after a State House member representing southern Denton County filed a similar bill.

Parker’s legislative initiatives aim to address critical policies to strengthen bail reform, crack down on illicit massage parlors, enact tougher punishment for traffickers and provide increased protections for victims, according to a news release from his office.

“While I am proud of the many accomplishments of our great state, the sad reality is that we are the second worst state in the nation for human trafficking. We cannot accept nor tolerate this horrific crime that is occurring within our communities,” Parker said. “This legislative package is the product of countless meetings with stakeholders who are on the frontlines every day. I will continue working to advance legislative solutions that protect vulnerable Texans, punish criminals, and provide law enforcement the tools they need to help put an end to this scourge on our society.”

Senate Bill 1010 & Senate Joint Resolution 51 seek to deny bail for any trafficker or child sexual assault offender who commits another offense while out on bail for a prior similar offense. SB 1009 strengthens existing Texas law overseeing massage parlors, in order to prevent bad actors from tarnishing the industry and disguising human trafficking operations. SB 1011 increases the penalties for human traffickers whose victims are recruited while in jail, and also provides enhanced penalties for offenders who strangle their victims. Finally, SB1012 allows certain trafficking victims to publicly seal their records for protection and privacy, according to Parker’s office.

After 15 years serving southern Denton County in House District 63, Parker began his first term in Texas Senate District 12 last month. Kronda Thimesch, who also recently began her term in House District 65, last week filed House Bill 2134, which would allow a political subdivision to implement certain restrictions for massage establishments.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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