Increased human trafficking poster fine dies on final legislative day

On the final day of the 2019 regular session, legislation died that originally intended to increase fines by almost 5,000% and assess them daily for not displaying a human trafficking hotline poster.

The Senate carried over and never debated HB264 by Rep. Merika Coleman, D-Birmingham, on May 31, the final legislative day.

Under current law, certain businesses and public places must display a state poster that includes the toll-free number for the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline, including businesses with a liquor or alcoholic beverage license but without a food or beverage permit. The fine is $50 for the second and subsequent violations for every day until a business complies.

Coleman’s bill originally sought a $250 fine on first violation and a $2,500 fine for the second and subsequent violation for each day of noncompliance.

The Alabama Retail Association worked with other business groups to lower the fine and its frequency, eliminate the daily penalty and otherwise amend the bill. While a Senate committee added some of the amendments we sought, the full Senate never voted on the legislation, killing it for the session.

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