by Karen Karpinski, Director of Education
You volunteers have been very active legislative advocates during this year’s session. I know that many have made calls to your representatives and tracked the bills in progress, posted numbers on our Facebook page for fellow volunteers to call or contact, and discussed these bills at your various meetings. Your diligence paid off! This session of the TN Legislature has been a very successful one in terms of human trafficking bills and we have a great many to thank, including the sponsoring representatives, TBI staff and you. Advocacy is one very important part of volunteering and I’m so very proud of your efforts.
The following are some of the important pieces of legislation passed into law:
TN HB027 authorizes the TBI to employ, effective July 1, 2015, four additional special agents for the purpose of training other officers, investigating and assisting in the prosecution of human trafficking cases; directs TBI to develop and provide a course of instruction to other officers and departments in the recognition, detection, and prosecution of human trafficking cases.
TN SB43 adds certain offenses, including human trafficking, to the list of crimes eligible for the interception of communications for evidence (a.k.a. the wire-tapping bill).
TN HB0580 states that the human trafficking task force shall be administratively attached to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
TN HB0270 requires a law enforcement officer to provide a minor suspected of prostitution with the telephone number of the Tennessee human trafficking resource center hotline instead of the number to the national hotline.