Bill Text: NJ SCR112 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Directs SCI to examine human trafficking activity at places of business of registered or illicit employers of massage and bodywork therapists.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2018-03-22 - Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee [SCR112 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-SCR112-Introduced.html

SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION No. 112

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MARCH 22, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  THOMAS H. KEAN, JR.

District 21 (Morris, Somerset and Union)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Directs SCI to examine human trafficking activity at places of business of registered or illicit employers of massage and bodywork therapists.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


A Concurrent Resolution directing, pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1968, c.266 (C.52:9M-3), the State Commission of Investigation to examine human trafficking activity at certain places of business.

 

Whereas, The State Commission on Investigation, pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1968, c.266 (C.52:9M-2), has the broad duty and power to conduct investigations in connection with "[t]he faithful execution and effective enforcement of the laws of the State, with particular reference but not limited to organized crime and racketeering," or "[a]ny matter concerning the public peace, public safety and public justice"; and

Whereas, Among the many crimes listed in N.J.S.2C:41-1 that are associated with organized crime and racketeering activity is the crime of human trafficking, section 1 of P.L.2005, c.77 (C.2C:13-8), which can involve a victim being required, by means of force, fraud, or coercion, to engage in sexual activity, or to provide labor or services; and

Whereas, In January 2018, Polaris Project, a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit organization dedicated to combating human trafficking and offering trafficking victims assistance, issued a report titled "Human Trafficking in Illicit Massage Businesses," which spotlighted the pervasiveness of illegal, commercial sex and potential human trafficking activity occurring in massage parlors throughout the United States, including a concentration of activity within an East Coast region comprised of New Jersey and its neighboring states; and

Whereas, As evidenced by the Polaris Project report, New Jersey's regulation of massage parlors, which includes the licensing of message and bodywork therapists, registration of employers which offer massage and bodywork therapies, and criminal history record background checks on all licensees and their employers pursuant to P.L.1999, c.19 (C.45:11-53 et seq.) and P.L.2007, c.337 (C.45:11-68 et al.), may require stronger enforcement efforts or further reforms to be more effective in addressing potential human trafficking activity taking place within massage parlors throughout the State; and

Whereas, The Legislature, pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1968, c.266 (C.52:9M-3), can by concurrent resolution direct the State Commission on Investigation to conduct an investigation falling within the commission's scope of authority and to present recommendations for changes in or additions to existing law "for the more effective administration and enforcement of the law"; now, therefore,

 

     Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of New Jersey (the General Assembly concurring):

     1.    The State Commission on Investigation is directed, pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1968, c.266 (C.52:9M-3), to investigate human trafficking activity at the places of business of employers of message and bodywork therapists, which employers are subject to registration, and which therapists are subject to licensure, pursuant to P.L.1999, c.19 (C.45:11-53 et seq.) and P.L.2007, c.337 (C.45:11-68 et al.).

 

     2.  a.  While conducting the investigation, the commission shall, upon the request of the Attorney General, a county prosecutor, or any other law enforcement official, cooperate with, advise, and assist the requesting official in the performance of that official's powers and duties in accordance with section 5 of P.L.1968, c.266 (C.52:9M-5).

     b.    While conducting the investigation, the commission may consult and exchange information with law enforcement officers and agencies of other states with respect to human trafficking activity of mutual concern to this and other states in accordance with section 7 of P.L.1968, c.266 (C.52:9M-7).

     c.     If, in the course of conducting the investigation, any information or evidence of a reasonable possibility of human trafficking or other criminal wrongdoing is obtained, the commission shall immediately refer the information or evidence to the Attorney General in accordance with section 8 of P.L.1968, c.266 (C.52:9M-8).

 

     3.    a.  No later than two years after the effective date of this concurrent resolution, unless delayed pursuant to subsection b. of this section at the request of the Attorney General, the commission shall issue a report to the Governor, and to the Legislature pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), summarizing the findings of its investigation and making recommendations for addressing human trafficking activity within massage and bodywork therapy places of business. 

     b.    If the report contains any information or evidence of a reasonable possibility of human trafficking or other criminal wrongdoing, the commission shall, in accordance with section 7 of P.L.1996, c.44 (C.52:9M-8.1), give written notice to the Attorney General at least seven days prior to the intended date of issuing the report, in order to afford the Attorney General an opportunity to be heard with respect to any objections the Attorney General has with the report.  The commission may then delay, at the request of the Attorney General and in accordance with that section, the issuance of the report for a period of up to 120 days.

 

     4.    This concurrent resolution shall take effect immediately.

STATEMENT

 

     This concurrent resolution directs, pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1968, c.266 (C.52:9M-3), the State Commission on Investigation to examine human trafficking activity at the places of business of employers of message and bodywork therapists.  A January 2018 report, "Human Trafficking in Illicit Massage Business," by Polaris Project, a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit organization dedicated to combating human trafficking and offering trafficking victims assistance, spotlighted the pervasiveness of illegal, commercial sex and potential human trafficking activity occurring in massage parlors throughout the United States.

     Although New Jersey's current regulation of massage parlors includes the licensing of massage and bodywork therapists, the registration of employers which offer massage and bodywork therapies, and criminal history record background checks for all therapists and their employers pursuant to P.L.1999, c.19 (C.45:11-53 et seq.) and P.L.2007, c.337 (C.45:11-68 et al.), the Polaris Project report evidences the possible need for stronger enforcement efforts or further reforms for the State to be more effective in addressing potential human trafficking activity taking place within such places of business.

     The concurrent resolution calls for the State Commission on Investigation to issue a report no later than two years after the resolution takes effect summarizing its investigation, unless delayed at the request of the Attorney General for up to an additional 120 days pursuant to section 7 of P.L.1996, c.44 (C.52:9M-8.1), due to information or evidence contained in the report showing a reasonable possibility of human trafficking or other criminal wrongdoing.  The report would also include recommendations for consideration by the Governor and Legislature for further addressing human trafficking activity within the places of business of employers of message and bodywork therapists.

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