Texas House set to vote on human trafficking bill Monday

Texas House set to vote on human trafficking bill Monday

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 7.08.04 AMAUSTIN (AP) — The halfway point of Texas’ 120-day legislative session has come and gone, meaning constitutional limits are lifted and lawmakers are free to vote on any bill they like.

Most of the hardest work has been and will continue to be done in committee, where Senate and House members delay or outright discard proposals without enough support to survive while hashing out differences on bills likely headed for full floor votes in each chamber.

That process is designed to be slow and will remain so until the final day of the session June 1 gets much closer.

Still, the House is poised to vote on its first bill Monday afternoon, a sweeping human trafficking plan that makes it easier to prosecute the crime of forcing minors into prostitution and establishes a special state anti-sex trafficking unit.

The measure is sponsored by state Rep. Senfronia Thompson, a Houston Democrat and 43-year House veteran who is among the chamber’s most-esteemed members. But it’s also considered part of a broader border security package — and measures on that topic were exempted from the first-60-day ban on passing bills because Gov. Greg Abbott made it an “emergency item.”

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