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January 2018 Legislative Update

The 2018 legislative session of the Missouri General Assembly convened on January 3. MCADSV will, as always, continue its mission-focused public policy advocacy in a non-partisan manner. January was National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention month, and Sex Trafficking Awareness month in Missouri, and MCADSV has several legislative advocacy highlights to share regarding trafficking. Among the earliest measures to advance was a human trafficking bill requiring public postings of resources to help victims. The House passed the bill on Jan. 17 with a vote of 139 to 5, and as of Feb. 1, the Senate passed the bill with a vote of 31 to 0 so HB1246 is “truly agreed and finally passed” and is now on its way to the Governor.

Sen. Jamila Nasheed (D-St. Louis) organized the third annual Sex Trafficking Awareness Day event, held in the Capitol on January 23, with the largest number of trafficking services organizations participating since the event began. MCADSV joined a variety of agencies exhibiting to educate legislators about their services, including Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft and his staff with the Safe at Home program. The afternoon included a powerful program of speakers including a survivor, Chiquita Tillman, author of I Am a Ruby, Not a Sapphire, Attorney General Hawley, who announced his Human Trafficking Training videos, and several legislators who filed legislation to address trafficking.

A range of other MCADSV priority bills had hearings as the five-month session began, including: requiring law enforcement reports of sexual assaults of elderly or disabled residents of care facilities; creating the offense of nonconsensual distribution of private sexual images; allowing electronic monitoring of protection order violators; and increasing the age required to obtain a marriage license. During the third week of January, Gov. Eric Greitens released his proposed state budget for Fiscal Year 2019 with summaries of funding proposed for each state department.

To read more about MCADSV’s legislative priorities view our January Legislative Update in the Public Policy section of our website.

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