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Minutes for SB373 - Committee on Judiciary

Short Title

Modifying the crimes of selling sexual relations, promoting the sale of sexual relations and buying sexual relations by changing terminology from "sexual relations" to "a sex act."

Minutes Content for Mon, Feb 17, 2020

Jason Thompson presented a brief on SB373 explaining that it would change terminology from "sexual relations" to "sex act." This would require amending the name of the crime in other statues to reflect the change of terminology. (Attachment 9)

The Division of the Budget supplied a fiscal note for the bills. (Attachment 10).

There was discussion of the significance of the bill and if it would cause unforeseen changes in law if the language were changed.

Jennifer Montgomery presented testimony in support of SB373 explaining that this bill only asks for a change in terminology. It does not change the crimes connected with the language. The Human Trafficking Advisory Board on which she served included human trafficking survivors. As we learn more about human trafficking, we learn there is a stigma accorded to certain words. Sexual relations implies mutual exchange; sex act is more neutral. It does not imply consent or mutual relationship and better describes the nature of human trafficking, therefore they have asked for the change in terminology. (Attachment 11)

Lucy Bloom presented testimony in support of SB373 explaining the transition in language from "prostitution" to "sexual relations" to "sex act" so that it provides a clearer context for addressing crimes of commercial sexual exploitation. (Attachment 12)

There was discussion and then the hearing closed.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:23 AM.