Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed the first of what will likely be two bills aimed at halting human trafficking in the state.

Senate bill 1890, or the “Lodging Services Human Trafficking Recognition Training Act”, was signed into law by Gov. Pritzker on Thursday, June 20.

The bill states that beginning June 1, 2020, a lodging establishment must provide employees with training that enables them to spot the signs of human trafficking, and establishes protocols for reporting those signs to the proper authority.

The training must be completed within six months of the start of employment, and the training must be taken again every two years.

A lodging establishment, according to the bill, is any establishment classified as a hotel, motel or casino hotel in the 2017 North American Industry Classification System.

Under the law, the establishment may develop its own training program or use that of a third party organization, as long as the training: 

•Establishes a definition of human trafficking and commercial exploitation of children

•Gives guidance on how to identify individuals who are most at risk of human trafficking

•Explains the difference between human trafficking for purposes of labor and purposes of sex

•Provides guidance on the role lodging establishment employees play in reporting and responding to instances of human trafficking

The Department of Human Services will develop a curriculum for a human trafficking recognition program which will be used by a lodging establishment that doesn’t develop its own, according to the bill.

House Speaker Michael J. Madigan (D—Chicago) said the bill was an important step forward in the fight against human trafficking.

“Exploitation of women and children thrives in silence,” said Madigan in a news release. “This new law provides needed resources to disrupt human trafficking rings and help survivors make their voices heard, and it is my hope that it also serves to raise awareness of this often underreported crime.”

The second bill likely to be signed into law is SB 1841, which eliminates a massage license exemption for practitioners of Asian bodywork. That bill currently awaits a signature from Gov. Pritzker after passing through the General Assembly on May 23.

Pekin will vote on a citywide body works ordinance at Monday’s City Council Meeting, and it is expected to pass.

“If this isn’t a 7-0 vote across the board then there’s a major issue,” said Mayor Mark Luft at Pekin’s June 10 City Council meeting.