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Updated Apr 15, 2014 - 4:08 pm

Arizona Senate approves anti-human-trafficking bill

PHOENIX -- An anti-human trafficking bill championed by the wife of U.S. Sen. John McCain will now go to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, also a vocal supporter of the bill.

The Arizona Senate on Tuesday unanimously approved House Bill 2454, which toughens penalties for trafficking adults and targets businesses such as massage parlors and escort services that advertise online.

It requires advertisers to post their license numbers and have written permission of any women they depict and evidence they are not minors.

Cindy McCain, who pushed the bill forward, said the legislation would put Arizona at the forefront of the fight against human trafficking by imposing harsh penalties for pimps.

McCain has been championing human-trafficking legislation not only in Arizona but in other states, especially ones that host major events such as the Super Bowl that attract traveling pimps and prostitutes. The proposed Arizona law will help close off the state to those traffickers, she said.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, R-Gilbert, increases the minimum penalties for a child-prostitution conviction to 10 years to 24 years in prison. It also makes pimping a child or adult a racketeering offense that will allow asset seizures.

The Senate did not debate the bill on Tuesday but approved it unanimously.

The bill will now go to the governor, who is expected to sign it.

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