The state Senate on Friday unanimously approved Gov. Larry Hogan's bill to fight sex trafficking in Maryland, putting one more item on his legislative agenda closer to enactment.
The legislation now goes to the House, where a companion bill has received committee approval.
The measure would change the definition of "sex abuse' in current law to include sex trafficking. The bill is intended to make it easier for local social services departments to investigate cases of sex trafficking, regardless of whether the suspected trafficker has a family relationship with the victim.
Currently the departments must have evidence the perpetrator is a parent, relative, household member or caretaker to initiate an investigation.