It's Official! SB 8 / SR 7 - Safe Harbor/Rachel's Law Act and Constitutional Amendment Passed by the General Assembly

“Rachel”, seated between Rep. Andy Welch (left) and Senator Renee Unterman, a sex trafficking victim for whom the bill is named, spoke in support of SB 8 during a committee hearing in January. The Senate gave final passage Thursday to legislation strengthening penalties and fines against sex traffickers. (Photo Credit: AJC)

“Rachel”, seated between Rep. Andy Welch (left) and Senator Renee Unterman, a sex trafficking victim for whom the bill is named, spoke in support of SB 8 during a committee hearing in January. The Senate gave final passage Thursday to legislation strengthening penalties and fines against sex traffickers. (Photo Credit: AJC)

It was great news on March 31st when the House passed SR 7 and SB 8 overwhelmingly out of the House with votes of 151 to 18 and 150 to 22, respectively.

As of 5:18 p.m. today (April 2, 2015), it's official! The Senate cast the last vote required in the General Assembly to successfully pass the Safe Harbor/Rachel's Law Act.  The Senate voted overwhelmingly to accept the House substitutes to both pieces of legislation -- with votes of 46 to 3 for SR 7 in favor; and 50 to 2 in favor of SB 8. 

The Safe Harbor/Rachel's Law Act will now make its way to the Governor's desk for his signature...and Senate Resolution 7 will make its way to the November 2016 ballot for the citizens of Georgia to voice their support of Georgia's children with a "Yes" vote to the following question:

"Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow additional penalties for criminal cases in which a person is adjudged guilty of keeping a place of prostitution, pimping, pandering, pandering by compulsion, solicitation of sodomy, masturbation for hire, trafficking of persons for sexual servitude, or sexual exploitation of children and to allow assessments on adult entertainment establishments to fund the Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund to pay for care and rehabilitative and social services for individuals in this state who have been or may be sexually exploited?" 

Thank you Senator Renee Unterman, Representatives Andy Welch and Chuck Efstration for their leadership and commitment to Georgia's children!

Thank you to both the Senate and the House of Representatives for their overwhelming support of this legislation and making Georgia a safer place for our children.