Anti-human trafficking bill passes 112-0 in Florida House

Javon Thomas an alumnus of Florida A&M University with a Bachelor’s in psychology
Photo Courtesy: Javon Thomas

The Florida House of Representatives passed HB 7063 last week by a 112-0 voice vote.

House Bill 7063, also known as Anti Human Trafficking, would extend the future repeal date of the direct-support organization for the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking. It also calls for human trafficking signs to include  a hotline number as well as human traffic labor cannot have any ties with contractors with government entities.

The legislation is sponsored by Republican Tobin Rogers Overdof of Stuart. 

The house bill  also imposes a $2,000 fine for public lodging establishments that do not comply with the human trafficking awareness requirements. 

Many anti-human trafficking organizations, such as the Survive and Thrive Academy Center  have asked for further assistance regarding advocacy and funding. According to, Robin Hassler Thompson, the executive director of North Florida’s Survive and Thrive Advocacy Center, says she was looking for more support for organizations such as STAC. She also says Florida’s leaders have promised to do more, and she is hopeful they can “back up their words” with funding.

Graciela Marquina, an emergency caller for STAC in the Tallahassee area, says it is not only information imported on human trafficking billboards but also on social media.

“It expands the exposure. Sometimes social media like TikTok disinforms people,” Marquina said. “It has to be information that informs, not misinform people.”

Marquina says she receives multiple emergency calls throughout the day and is quick to take those calls. She also says she must pay attention to many signs while in the community and tries to inform people about the risk of being trafficked. 

Javon Thomas, an alumnus of Florida A&M University with a bachelor’s in psychology, says the state should also allocate more funds for human trafficking survivors. He says victims of human trafficking can have a wide variety of mental difficulties following such a traumatic experience.

“Victims can develop PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and depression. Victims are also more likely to experience a higher degree of anxiety and emotional numbness in their day-to-day lives,” Thomas said. “Victims are also more likely than the average person to develop eating disorders or substance abuse issues.”

However, Thomas says that HB 7063 is an excellent step in the right direction. He says fundraisers for these organizations could also be beneficial. Organizations such as STAC have links on their website pages for donations. 

HB 7063 Anti-Human Trafficking was moved to the Senate on Feb. 22 and referred to the chamber’s Fiscal Policy Committee.