Republican state Senator Frank Padavan is scheduled to introduce a bill toughening the penalties on human trafficking when the state Senate reconvenes shortly. When he introduced this bill last year, Democratic Senator John Sabini introduced “a hostile amendment” that was essentially designed to make the bill more like a parallel offering in the Assembly.
The resulting exchange between the two legislators last year went something like this:
So I offer this amendment not in a sense that Senator Padavan’s bill is bad — no, it’s good, and I intend to vote for it — but rather to go to the victim’s side of the equation and to get the state to step up to the plate and say we have to do something for these folks. And the amendment is offered in the spirit of helping those victims, Madam President.
Now, we have a difference of opinion. I think our Division of Criminal Justice Services, the Attorney General’s office, our police departments, the federal agencies with whom they are to cooperate under this statute, are sufficient to do the job if we give them the law and the tools to do it with. We need not set up a new entity to supersede what is already in place in terms of structure and assets. That’s where we differ.
— Azi Paybarah