Less than two weeks from Election Day, State Senator Renee Unterman (R-Buford) is stepping up her advocacy for Amendment #2, the Safe Harbor Amendment. On Thursday, Senator Unterman and State Representative Mary Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur) held a press conference at the State Capitol in support of Amendment #2.
Here is what Senator Unterman had to say:
It is an honor to have everyone here today to highlight a decade of collaboration and bi-partisan work on behalf of Georgia’s children. Funding this program will continue a decade long journey and will take care of Georgia’s children who are tragically abused. This fund is critical because it will address what we do with these victims after they are off the streets. Helping victims of sex trafficking and preventing future cases is what today was all about.
In case you are unfamiliar with it, the Safe Harbor Amendment creates a permanent fund to rehabilitate victims of child sex trafficking. This fund would not require legislative reauthorization each year. Atlanta is a hub for such activity, with about 7,200 annual cases of child prostitution. The amendment requires a majority of voters for Safe Harbor to become part of the Georgia Constitution.
While the goal is uncontroversial, the source of the money has raised a few eyebrows. Funds would come from seizing the assets of persons involved in sex trafficking and from a 1 percent tax on establishments providing adult entertainment. According to Jessica at GeorgiaPol, the assets could be seized before the accused is convicted of any crime, a possible infringement on “innocent until proven guilty.” She also argues that there is not much data showing that strip clubs are involved in human trafficking.
Right or wrong, there’s a little bit more to this amendment than meets the eye. Take a peek at it before voting on November 8th.