Good news, everyone! Well, everyone except scum-of-the-earth sex traffickers. For you, it's terrible news.

In their last day of the official session, lawmakers have managed to unanimously pass not one, but TWO! bills which would help victims of sex trafficking AND ALSO help curb it by going after sex traffickers!

One of the bills, HB 1791, extends the definition of "sex offender" to include convicted sex traffickers, which is great news and focuses on the actual crimepeople, rather than the victims. The other, HB 1292, helps victims of sex trafficking who were previously convicted of prostitution to vacate those convictions, making it easier to get jobs, apply for housing, and generally live their lives.

There is maybe one slight issue with this bill, which is that it does have the potential to set up a good v. bad dichotomy (trafficked sex workers who were convicted of prostitution = good and deserving of pardon; sex workers who are in the game by choice = yucky bad illegal trollops), and proving which sex workers were the victims of trafficking could possibly get to be a little murky/slut-shamey. Ideally (to my mind), we would live in a progressive society where voluntary sex work and sex trafficking weren't basically considered the same thing in the eyes of the law. But this is a pretty good start.

A third bill which tangentially helps prevent sex trafficking by protecting children in foster care was also passed unanimously. SB 6126 corrects a glaring hole in Washington State's handling of children in the foster care system; previously, the state wasn't required to extend to children the same courtesy it gives to criminals by mandating representation. Now, kids in foster care will have lawyers, which is at least one adult looking out for their best interests. Foster children are often targeted by pimps, and are statistically more likely to be the victim of sex traffickers.

Both of these bills were sent to Governor Jay Inslee, who is totally going to sign them because he knows what's up.