Good news in CA: Bipartisan bill upping penalties for child sex trafficking heads to governor’s desk

by Summer Lane

Photo: Alamy

The Golden State has scored a common-sense victory on the legislative front after the state Assembly and Senate unanimously passed SB 14, which would categorize the convicted sex trafficking of minors as a serious felony under California law.

Last week, State Sen. Shannon Grove, R-Calif., who authored the bill, stated, “Today is a huge victory for every survivor who has shared their story in hopes of making a change with Senate Bill 14. With the passage of this bill, we are sending a clear message to repeat child traffickers— we intend to put you out of business and into prison.”

According to a press release from State Sen. Grove’s office, the legislation was bipartisan and will now head to Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (Calif.) desk by October 14.

The “serious” felony attribution in sex trafficking of minors means that convicted offenders will fall under the state’s three-strike law. According to the Los Angeles Times, this could allow prosecutors in California to pursue life sentences for repeat offenders.

Via Grove’s site, “In California, human trafficking is rampant, and the state must take bold action to hold traffickers accountable for their crimes. California has the unfortunate distinction of being one of the top states for human trafficking in the United States. Thousands of people, many of them minors, are forced into sexual exploitation each year.”

Her legislation marks a rare occurrence of bipartisan cooperation in the Democrat-dominated political landscape of California.

Congressman Kevin Kiley, R-Calif., highlighted the legislative win in his home state this week, writing on X, “In California, a bill to make child trafficking a serious felony passed unanimously after originally being killed in committee. Even against an out-of-touch Supermajority, compassion and common sense can carry the day when people make their voices heard.”

Gov. Newsom is expected to sign SB 14 into law.

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