Monday - October 9, 2017 1:51 am

Billings promoting legislation to protect sexually exploited children

Written by
@RepJillBillings on Facebook @RepJillBillings on Facebook

Bill would keep from prosecuting
children forced into prostitution, other activity 

One La Crosse lawmaker is hoping that progress will be made soon to protect sexually exploited children.

Representative Jill Billings is a co-sponsor of the anti-trafficking bill, which got a committee hearing in Madison last week.

She's continuing to promote a bill introduced last year which would avoid prosecuting children who are forced into prostitution and other illegal activity. Billings says the state needs to recognize that teenagers lured into prostitution are victims, not criminals.

"They don't need to arrest kids for prostitution in order to keep them safe, now that the Dept. of Children and Families (is) taking them in and providing services for them," Billings said, adding that the trafficking measure has strong bi-partisan support, including the backing of state attorney general Brad Schimel.

Some critics of the proposal suggest that it might actually prevent law enforcement from providing help to the victims of trafficking.

Billings says the teens are more helpful to police if they're assured that they won't face criminal charges.

"When we bring them in they're more likely to cooperate," she said. "They're more likely to help build a case against the traffickers."

Billings says about 20 other states already have approved similar laws, generally called 'safe harbor' bills. Minnesota and Illinois are among those states.

Last modified on Monday - October 9, 2017 2:05 am
Brad Williams

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from U-W-La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area.  Brad writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse.  He's been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.  

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

SCHOOL CLOSINGS
2-20-2018
Arcadia
Bangor
Blair-Taylor
Boscobel
Caledonia - flexible learning day, SAC open, all other events cancelled including school board
Cochrane-Fountain City
DeSoto
Eastern Allamakee
Emmanuel Lutheran La Crosse
Fillmore Central
G.E.T.
Hillsboro
Holmen
Houston
Independence
Ithaca
Kickapoo
La Crescent & Hokah - Montessori and STEM also closed
La Crosse - Aquinas
La Crosse - Public
Lanesboro
Mabel/Canton
Melrose/Mindoro
NICC Calmar Campus
Norwalk Ontario Wilton
Onalaska Public
Partners In Excellence Autism Therapy Center - La Crosse and Winona
Prairie du Chien
Sparta
Spring Grove
St. Charles
Tomah - including Queen of the Apostles School
Viroqua
Viterbo University
West Salem
Westby
Western Technical College - ALL CAMPUSES CLOSED
Winona Cotter
Winona Parochial
Winona Public

SCHOOL DELAYS
2-20-2018
St. Marys University-Winona until 1030