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Pennsylvania Anti-Human Trafficking Legislation

We desire to equip our communities with timely and accurate anti-human trafficking information, including current anti-human trafficking legislation. Below you can find current bills, a brief description for each of them, and their status:

House Bill 843 (Rep. David Rowe) amends Pennsylvania’s child custody statute to require judges to consider whether a party or member of that party’s household has been convicted of human trafficking prior to awarding child custody to that party. 

Status: Approved by the Governor June 2021, now Act 38 of 2021.

House Bill 1096 (Rep. Rob Kauffman) reforms the venue in which human trafficking lawsuits may be brought, allowing victims to bring civil lawsuits either where they reside or where the violations occurred.

Status: Passed the House unanimously May 2021. In Senate committee

House Bill 753 (Rep. Barry Jozwiak) increases penalties for trafficking infants.

Status: Passed the House May 2021. In Senate committee.

House Bill 1130 (Rep. Craig Williams) requires those convicted of human trafficking for sexual servitude to register on the sexual offender list.

Status: Passed the House May 2021. In Senate committee.

Companion legislation Senate Bill 118 (Sen. Kim Ward) in Senate committee.

House Bill 246 (Rep. Natalie Mihalek) expands Pennsylvanian’s rape shield law, preventing a survivor’s sexual history from being used as evidence in court.

Status: Approved by the Governor June 2021, now Act 32 of 2021.

House Bill 1147 (Rep. Valerie Gaydos) expands the list of sexual offenses that require offenders to attend and participate in Corrections counseling and therapy programs for sex offenders.

Status: Approved by the Governor June 2021, now Act 45 of 2021.

Senate Bill 81 (Sen. Wayne Langerholc) permits expert testimony on the dynamics of victim behavior in sexual assault, domestic abuse, and human trafficking cases.

Status: Approved by the Governor June 2021, now Act 52 of 2021.

House Bill 1584 (Rep. Jessica Benham) requires annual human trafficking education programming in public schools, instruction students on topics such as the signs and types of human trafficking and risk factors.

Status: In House committee.

Senate Bill 704 (Sen. Lisa Baker) expands the crime of institutional sexual assault to include assaults by caregivers on care dependent individuals.

Status: Passed Senate committee May 2021. Awaiting full Senate approval.

House Bill 156 (Rep. Clint Owlett) extends the Tender Years Hearsay Act from 12 to 16, allowing more children to submit statements of their sexual abuse to the court instead of testifying in front of their abuser. 

Status: Approved by the Governor June 2021, now Act 29 of 2021. 

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