AUSTIN — State Rep. Jacey Jetton on Friday announced his support for House Bill 3520, which he says would take 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,” said Jetton, whose District 26 includes part of Fort Bend County.
“Approximately 79,000 young adults and minors have been trafficked in our state. 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, Jetton added.
Data from state and federal resources suggest the average age when a child is first trafficked is between 9 and 13 years old, he said.
“Many of their stories include exploitation in a sexually oriented business,” said Jetton, a Republican serving his first term in the Legislature.
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.
Jetton has filed 33 bills this session, 12 of which will strengthen the integrity of Texas elections. Those bills are HB 1128, HB 2320, HB 2321, HB 2322, HB 2546, HB 3200, HB 3274, HB 3999, HB 4322, HB 4331, HB 4364 and HB 4366.
He also filed HB 4366, which, if passed, would go into effect if the federal government passes any bill attempting to take over Texas’ elections.
Follow the bills online at https://capitol.texas.gov. On the top menu, click on “legislation,” then click on “bill lookup.”