A bill (SB 1880) bolstering penalties for those involved in human trafficking passed the Senate Criminal Justice Committee in Florida, the first of two committee stops in that chamber. A House companion bill, HB 7049, by Rep. William Snyder, R-Stuart, is awaiting action in the House Appropriations Committee. The bills would make human trafficking a first degree felony and establish the statewide prosecutors as the lead agency in multi-jurisdictional investigations. "Thanks to the leadership of Senator (Anitere) Flores, our state is one step closer to confronting a crime that exploits the most vulnerable among us and has no place in our communities," Snyder said. "Human trafficking is a serious crime that requires stricter penalties – especially in Florida, due to our geography, rapidly growing population and high number of visitors every year."