Safe Harbor 2013
Safe Harbor 2011 laid the groundwork for a victim-centered response to sexually exploited youth and youth at risk of sexual exploitation. Since Safe Harbor was signed into law, The Advocates has been actively involved in the legislatively mandated consultation process. Safe Harbor 2011 directed the State of Minnesota, through the Department of Public Safety and in consultation with the Department of Health, the Department of Human Services, and a broad array of stakeholders from around Minnesota to create a model for Safe Harbor's implementation. That model, "No Wrong Door: A Comprehensive Approach to Safe Harbor for Minnesota's Sexually Exploited Youth," (No Wrong Door) was published in January 2013 following over a year of intense work by the stakeholder participants.
 
February 15, 2013 The Advocates released a report analyzing Safe Harbor 2011, including the Safe Harbor Working Group process and No Wrong Door. In addition, this report examines Safe Harbor 2011 against international standards, federal laws, and emerging state practice related to the sexual exploitation of children to identify gaps that remain.
 
But the work is not yet complete. Our priorities and actions in the 2013 session are as follows:

What's New in the 2013 Legislative Session

  • May 21, 2013 - Safe Harbor 2013 passed the MN State Legislature! The bill will now go to Governor Dayton for signature. Thank you to everyone who worked on this initiative- this is a big step forward in protectiong sexually exploited youth.
  • May 17, 2013 -Safe Harbor 2013 passed through conference committee.  While we did not get the full appropriation we were asking for, this landmark legislation is a significant step to better protect sexually exploited youth in Minnesota. The final bill will now go to the floor to be voted on in each chamber. Thank you to everyone who worked on the bill, attended hearings, called legislators and supported this legislation!

To summarize, Safe Harbor 2013:  

  • Extends Safe Harbor provisions to ALL sexually exploited youth by removing the age distinction in Safe Harbor 2011;
  • Secures funding for a statewide director of child sex trafficking prevention in the Minnesota Department of Health;
  • Secures funding for six regional navigator positions to connect sexually exploited youth throughout the state with the shelter, support and services they need;
  • Secures a $700,000 training fund for law enforcement, prosecutors and others who encounter sexually exploited youth and an additional $100,000 to compensate local law enforcement agencies for sending personnel to trainings; and
  • Secures $1 million for Safe Harbor housing and shelter.

In total, this is $2.8 million dollars to build the system that will respond to sexually exploited youth in Minnesota! That is $2 million from the Health and Human Services budget and $800,000 from the Public Safety Omnibus Bill.

  • April 15-16, 2013 -  Senate Health and Human Services Finance Committee Hearing
     
  • April 15, 2013, 4 p.m., Room 112 of the State Capitol. The committee will continue discussions regarding funding to support sexually exploited youth in Minnesota. 
     
  • April 16, 2013, 8:30 a.m., Room 112 of the State Captiol. The committee will contnue the converstation. Please attend and show your support at these hearings.
     
  • April 9, 2013 -  Senate Health and Human Services Finance Committee Hearing (SF 384), 8:30 a.m., Room 123 of the State Capitol. SF 384 is 4th on the agenda. Please attend and show your support at this critically important hearing.
     
  • April 5, 2013 - The House Housing Finance and Policy Committee passed an omnibus budget bill which included $2 million for Safe Harbor shelter and housing. This is a significant piece of the $13.5 million needed to support sexually exploited youth, but we've got $11.5 million to go! Please continue to tell your elected officials and leadership that they need to fully fund Safe Harbor.
     
  • March 20, 2013 - House Health and Human Services Finance Committee Hearing (HF 485)
    The hearing will resume at 6 p.m. tonight in Room 118 of the Capitol. 
     
  • March 20, 2013 – House Health and Human Services Finance Committee Hearing (HF 485)
    10:00 a.m., Room 200, State Office Building. Attend and show your support at this critical hearing at which the committee will consider providing support, infrastructure and services to child victims of sex trafficking, as well as the bill’s $13.5 million appropriation to fund the victim-centered response.
A huge “thank you” to the outstanding people who have supported and testified on behalf of this legislation. Special thanks goes to Sgt. John Bandamer, St. Paul Police Department; Sgt. Grant Snyder, Minneapolis Police Department; Ramsey County Attorney John Choi; Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom; Nikki Beasley, Breaking Free; Michele Garnett McKenzie, The Advocates for Human Rights; and Artika Roller and Jeff Bauer, The Family Partnership. We also extend gratitude to the great work of the legislation’s chief authors, Sen. Sandy Pappas (Saint Paul) and Rep. Susan Allen (Minneapolis).
  • March 14, 2013 - Senate Judiciary Hearing (SF 1294)
    6:00 p.m. Room 15 of the Capitol - SF 1294, which would expand Safe Harbor protection to all children under age 18, was passed and referred to the Floor.
     
  • March 13, 2013 - House Judiciary Hearing (HF 1187)
    2:15 p.m. Room 10 of the State Office Building - HF 1187, which would expand Safe Harbor protection to all children under age 18, was passed and referred to the Floor.
  • March 12, 2013 - Public Safety Hearing (HF 485)
    10:00 a.m. Room 10 of the State Office Building
     
  • March 8, 2013 - Senate Hearing Committee on Health, Human Services, and Housing (SF 384)
    RESCHEDULED for 12:00 p.m. in Capitol Room 107. Come and show your support!
     
  • March 6, 2013 - House Hearing in Housing, Finance and Policy (HF 485)
    12:30 p.m. in the Basment Hearing Room of the State Office Buidling. Come and show your support!
     
  • NO WRONG DOOR - 2013 Safe Harbor Implementation Legislation will Have its First Hearing 
    In the House Early Childhood and Youth Development Policy Committee on Tuesday 2/26, State Office Building, Room 5, between 4 pm and 5:30 pm.  
     
  • February 11, 2013: NO WRONG DOOR - 2013 Safe Harbor Implementation Legislation Introduced in the Minnesota House and Senate
    HF 485 / SF 384 - Director of child sex trafficking prevention established, sexually exploited youth provisions modified, grant programs established and amended relating to combating sexual exploitation of youth, related services and housing provided to victims, and money appropriated.