HJ682: Human trafficking; joint subcommittee to study.

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 682
Offered January 10, 2007
Prefiled January 9, 2007
Establishing a joint subcommittee to study human trafficking. Report.
Patron-- Ebbin

Committee Referral Pending

WHEREAS, it is estimated that 14,500 to 17,500 people, primarily women and children, are trafficked to the United States annually; and

WHEREAS, trafficking of women and girls for sexual purposes is a major component of international human trafficking; and

WHEREAS, the guarantee of freedom from torture, freedom of expression, freedom of the press, women's rights, children's rights, and the protection of minorities is of grave concern; and

WHEREAS, many states have either adopted laws to combat human trafficking or have formed task forces to study human trafficking; and

WHEREAS, efforts by the Commonwealth to prevent and punish human trafficking in concert with the federal government will promote overall efficacy in the national and global effort; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That a joint subcommittee be established to study human trafficking. The joint subcommittee shall have a total membership of six members. Members shall be appointed as follows: four members of the House of Delegates to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates in accordance with the principles of proportional representation contained in the Rules of the House of Delegates and two members of the Senate to be appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules. The joint subcommittee shall elect a chairman and vice chairman from among its membership.

In conducting its study, the joint subcommittee shall (i) assess the extent of the problem of human trafficking in the Commonwealth and the efficacy of current laws in addressing the problem and (ii) determine whether legislation is necessary to comport Virginia's efforts with those of the federal government to prevent and punish human trafficking.

Administrative staff support shall be provided by the Office of the Clerk of the House of Delegates. Legal, research, policy analysis, and other services as requested by the joint subcommittee shall be provided by the Division of Legislative Services.  Technical assistance shall be provided by the Virginia State Police. All agencies of the Commonwealth shall provide assistance to the joint subcommittee for this study, upon request.

The joint subcommittee shall be limited to four meetings for the 2007 interim, and the direct costs of this study shall not exceed $6,000 without approval as set out in this resolution. Approval for unbudgeted nonmember-related expenses shall require the written authorization of the chairman of the joint subcommittee and the respective Clerk.  If a companion joint resolution of the other chamber is agreed to, written authorization of both Clerks shall be required.

No recommendation of the joint subcommittee shall be adopted if a majority of the House members or a majority of the Senate members appointed to the joint subcommittee (i) vote against the recommendation and (ii) vote for the recommendation to fail notwithstanding the majority vote of the joint subcommittee.

The joint subcommittee shall complete its meetings by November 30, 2007, and the chairman shall submit to the Division of Legislative Automated Systems an executive summary of its findings and recommendations no later than the first day of the 2008 Regular Session of the General Assembly. The executive summary shall state whether the joint subcommittee intends to submit to the General Assembly and the Governor a report of its findings and recommendations for publication as a House or Senate document. The executive summary and the report shall be submitted as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports and shall be posted on the General Assembly's website.

Implementation of this resolution is subject to subsequent approval and certification by the Joint Rules Committee. The Committee may approve or disapprove expenditures for this study, extend or delay the period for the conduct of the study, or authorize additional meetings during the 2007 interim.