ATLANTA - Since taking office in 2019, Gov. Brian Kemp and First Lady Marty Kemp have prioritized human trafficking awareness and measures to end "modern-day slavery" in Georgia.
Monday, the Kemps unveiled three new proposals to continue that effort.
"There is always more work to be done. We will not let up. We're still fighting," said Gov. Kemp in a news conference at the State Capitol.
The first bill would establish an exception for trafficking survivors who want to change their names. State law requires anyone who petitions the court for a legal name change to publish a notice in the local newspaper for four consecutive weeks. Current law allows victims of family violence to file petitions without public notices and this legislation would also allow trafficking victims to keep their name changes private.
Under the second piece of legislation, victims of human trafficking would be able to sue their traffickers or anyone else who knowingly benefitted from their crimes in civil court. A lawsuit could not be filed until any criminal cases were resolved and the statute of limitations would be 10 years.
Finally, Gov. and Mrs. Kemp have proposed a rule change for the Department of Driver Services which would require anyone getting or renewing a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) to take an anti-trafficking course first.
"With these initiatives, we can continue taking important steps to end modern-day slavery and ensure that our state is a safe haven for survivors," said Mrs. Kemp. "But I want every Georgian to know that these are just our most recent steps in our ongoing fight to end human trafficking and certainly not our last. Every day we will continue to be on the lookout for new ways to help and make a difference. And I promise you we will not rest until every victim is rescued and every trafficker is behind bars."
State Rep. Josh Bonner and state Sen. Clint Dixon said they plan to file the legislation this week.
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