AUSTIN – State Representative Jacey Jetton announces support for House Bill 3520, taking a vital step in combatting human trafficking in Texas. The bill, authored by Chairman Todd Hunter, would raise the minimum age for individuals who work in a sexually oriented business to 21 and imposes penalties for businesses that violate this statute.
“Texas is the second worst state in the country for sex trafficking. Approximately 79,000 young adults and minors have been trafficked in our state,” Jetton said. “The Texas Legislature must find solutions to combat the human trafficking. Data indicates raising the minimum age on sexually oriented businesses will be a beneficial step in this process. As leaders in Texas, we must also continue educating people about the realities of human trafficking.”
Constituents from Fort Bend County organized a group to speak in support of HB 3520 and in support of human trafficking survivors. Fort Bend County is a suburb of Houston, the worst city in America for child sex trafficking. Data from state and federal resources suggest the average age when a child is first trafficked is between 9 and 13 years old. Many of their stories include exploitation in a sexually oriented business.
House Bill 3520 is currently in the Subcommittee on Business and Occupational Regulation, where it received a hearing last week. The bill will need to be voted out of both the subcommittee and the Committee on Licensing and Administrative Procedures before it can be voted on by the House as a whole.