Legislation designed to combat human trafficking in Missouri is on its way to Gov. Eric Greitens.
The bill would require airports, bus and train stations, hospital emergency rooms, strip clubs, and any business with prior citations for prostitution to display posters that contain a national hotline number. Republican Bob Onder of Lake St. Louis sposoned the bill in the Senate.
“This bill will allow victims of human trafficking to get the information they need to escape the hellish human existence created for them by those who would exploit them for profit,” he said.
The bill passed the Senate 31-0 Thursday, and passed the House 139-5 two weeks ago.
The posters are scheduled to go on display in March of next year. Any business required to display human trafficking posters that fails to do so will receive a written warning the first time, and then may be cited.
Tribute to Cloria Brown
Senate members also paid tribute to Rep. Cloria Brown, R-St. Louis, who is on medical leave from the Missouri House. She sponsored a similar bill last year that never made it to a vote in the Senate, and she has sponsored and championed other measures designed to combat human trafficking. She intended to sponsor it again this year, but due to her illness handed it off to Rep. Patricia Pike, R-Adrian.
Sen. Scott Sifton, D-Affton, who lives in Brown’s House district, praised Brown.
“For anybody who’s been involved in South County, or in Lemay, or in civic pursuits over these many years, it really seems to us that Rep. Brown has been seemingly everywhere and involved in seemingly everything ,” he said. “You cannot turn around … without Rep. Brown being right there.”
Sifton thanked Brown for her service and community work, “while we still can.” He said on the Senate floor “it now appears that all of our time serving together with Rep. Brown may be nearing an end.”
A staff member for Brown declined to discuss her illness.
Follow Marshall on Twitter:@MarshallGReport