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Sen. Roach to serve on new committee combating sex trafficking
For the Reporter
State Sen. Pam Roach (R-rural Auburn), a leading advocate in the Legislature for children, has been selected to take on two new assignments, including one protecting Washington's children from sexual exploitation.
On Wednesday the Majority Coalition Caucus formally requested that Roach be appointed to the Statewide Coordinating Committee on Sex Trafficking.
"We must continue to fight the organized abuse of children," Roach said. "Law enforcement, prosecutors, judges and parents need tougher laws to stop adults from exploiting our young people in order to make a profit."
In 2012, Roach introduced a landmark bill, Senate Bill 6257, which closed loopholes by enhancing definitions in existing anti-trafficking laws.
"Child trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world, valued at more than 12 billion dollars annually and devastating the lives of more than 2 million child victims each year," Roach said.
"We must continue to give law enforcement new tools to apprehend these predators, prosecutors more ways to keep them off the street and our communities the resources they need to help protect and support the victims of these crimes."
Washington was the first state in the nation to enact laws related to human trafficking. Senate Bill 5308, which created the statewide committee to recommend strategies for combating the commercial sexual exploitation of children, passed the Legislature unanimously and went into effect in July of last year.
Earlier this month Roach was also selected to serve as an ex officio (or non-voting) Republican representative on the State Building Code Council. Roach, first elected to the state Senate in 1990, served previously on the council, and brings years of experience dealing with construction, labor and landlord-tenant policy to the role.
"Council decisions can have a tremendous impact on the ability of our construction industry to flourish and create new jobs, as well as lower or increase the cost of new home construction for buyers in our state," Roach said. "I plan to be a voice for commonsense and the consumer, and will also work to make sure that the council doesn't stray too far from the Legislature's intent on issues such as energy mandates, as has happened in the past."