Bill signing

Rome's state Rep. Katie Dempsey (fourth from right) is among the lawmakers gathered Tuesday as Gov. Brian Kemp signs foster care and human trafficking bills into law.

ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp signed bills Tuesday, July 21, aimed at cracking down on human trafficking in Georgia and improving the state’s foster care system.

The governor made both issues top priorities of his agenda for the 2020 General Assembly session that ended late last month.

“Today is an important step forward to ensure a brighter, safer future for Georgia’s children in foster care and bring an end to human trafficking in our state,” Kemp said in a prepared statement.

“As these bills take the force of law, we are fulfilling an ongoing commitment to enhance our foster care system, achieve positive outcomes for our children and hold the perpetrators of human trafficking accountable.”

House Bill 823 and House Bill 911 were part of Georgia First Lady Marty Kemp’s initiative to target human trafficking and better protect foster children.

Under House Bill 823, anyone who knowingly uses a commercial motor vehicle to transport victims of sexual or labor trafficking will lose their commercial drivers license for life.

House Bill 911 prohibits foster parents from engaging in improper sexual behavior with children in their care, closing a loophole in current state law.

“I want to thank the sponsors of [the two bills] for working alongside Governor Kemp and I to put Georgia’s children first, hold bad actors accountable, and ultimately bring an end to the evil of human trafficking in our state,” Marty Kemp said.

Both bills took effect upon the governor’s signature.

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