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Assemblymember Christy Smith Human Trafficking Bill Passes Assembly, Heads To Senate

Assemblymember Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita, announced Thursday that Assembly Bill 629 unanimously passed the State Assembly and is now headed to the Senate, officials said.

AB 629 is set to help victims of human trafficking rebuild their lives, according to Smith’s office.

“Victims of human trafficking experience unimaginable trauma and violence,” Smith said. “In order to restore justice, we must ensure trafficking survivors have the resources and tools to build a better future. AB 629 speaks to a victim’s ability to recover and returns dignity to survivors of human trafficking.”

California’s Victim Compensation Program provides assistance to victims who have suffered physical injury or the threat of physical injury as a result of violent crime, according to officials.

These threats include covering unforeseen expenses such as medical bills, mental health treatment, funeral and burial expenses and income loss.

Under current law, victims of human trafficking are excluded from receiving compensation for lost wages, Smith said.

AB 629 is intended to ensure that human trafficking victims are set to be eligible for compensation for lost or underpaid wages, like any other victim of crime.

Smith worked with co-sponsors Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking, Bet Tzedek Legal Services and joint author, Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez D-San Diego, to move AB 629.

The bill received bipartisan and unanimous support from the Assembly and now heads to the Senate for approval.

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Assemblymember Christy Smith Human Trafficking Bill Passes Assembly, Heads To Senate

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About Louie Diaz

Louie was born and raised in Santa Clarita. At the age of two Louie lost his vision due to a brain tumor. However, Louie doesn't let blindness stop him from doing what ever it is he wants to accomplish. Growing up some of his favorite hobbies were wood working, fishing and riding bikes. Louie graduated from College of the Canyon in December of 2017, with a Broadcast Journalism degree. Growing up Louie has always wanted to be a fire fighter or a police officer, but because of his blindness Louie knew that wouldn't work. Louie has always loved listening to police and fire radio traffic, using a scanner, and he figured if he was going to listen to the scanner so much, he should do something with it.