Capitol Hill Update from State Representative David Byrd: July 14, 2021

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Session Highlights from

 112th General Assembly

   Safe Home for Trafficked Children – Public Chapter 246 requires law enforcement officers to alert the Department of Children’s Services when they take a minor into custody on charges of prostitution so the child can appropriately be placed in a safe home. This legislation helps ensure the child can receive any professional assistance they may need and can be removed from a life dictated by abusive traffickers. 

   Human Trafficking / Lifetime Ban on Commercial Driver’s License – Public Chapter 112 places a lifetime ban on all persons who knowingly used a vehicle in the commission of a sexual or human trafficking crime from receiving a commercial driver’s license in Tennessee.

   Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking Victims / Self Defense Public Chapter 83 allows those threatened with “grave sexual abuse,” such as rape, to use deadly force in self-defense. Similarly, Public Chapter 115 seeks to protect a vulnerable population by establishing certain considerations regarding the use of force by victims of human trafficking. The legislation authorizes victims to use force that could result in serious bodily injury or death, even if the victims are engaged in illegal activity or in a location they are not legally allowed to be, if they are in the situation as a result of their status as a human trafficking victim. 

   Statute of Limitations / Commercial Sex Trafficking – Public Chapter 363 removes the statute of limitation for any commercial sex trafficking offense committed against a child on or after July 1, 2021.

   Sex Trafficking / Full Sentence – Public Chapter 210 adds those convicted of sex trafficking to the category of sex predators who are ineligible for early parole or release before completion of their full sentence. The legislation applies to offenders who have been convicted of one or more predatory offenses.

   Human Trafficking / Evidence / Social Media Platforms –Public Chapter 421 authorizes a law enforcement officer, district attorney or designee, or the attorney general or designee to require the disclosure of wire and electronic communications for evidentiary purposes to crack down on human trafficking offenses organized through social media platforms.

   As always, I am truly humbled and honored to be your voice on Capitol Hill. If there is ever any issue I can assist with, please reach out to my office by calling 615-741-2190 or emailing me at rep.david.byrd@capitol.tn.gov.