Human trafficking bill on its way to the full Senate after passing committee and House

(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo) Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City, talks about a rape-kit tracking system in Utah at a news conference at the Calvin Rampton Complex in Taylorsville, June 6, 2018. Romero is the sponsor of a human trafficking measure that adds new provisions to the existing law.

A bill clarifying and amending state human trafficking law soared through committee Monday and is now on its way to the Senate floor.

HB20, sponsored by Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City, has yet to draw an opposing vote, having passed unanimously through the full House and a Senate committee. The measure would clarify that there is no statute of limitation to the crime of child trafficking; clarify that victims can pursue legal action against both a trafficker and anyone who knowingly benefits from the crime; and would increase protections for vulnerable adults, meaning anyone older than 65 or with a mental or physical disability that diminishes their capacity to that of a child.

“We look at vulnerable adults the same way we look at children so what this bill does is it creates a first degree felony for trafficking a vulnerable adult,” Romero said.