Atlanta, GA – Governor Brian P. Kemp, accompanied by First Lady Marty Kemp, members of the General Assembly, state and local leaders, and members of the GRACE Commission signed a package of anti-human trafficking legislation into law, including SB 370 - the ninth piece of legislation brought forward and passed by First Lady Marty Kemp and the GRACE Commission.

Sponsored by Senator Mike Hodges, signed by Senators Ben Watson, John Albers, Bo Hatchett, and Kay Kirkpatrick, carried in the House by Representative Soo Hong, and heard in the Senate Committee on Regulated Industries and Utilities by Chairman Bill Cowsert and the House Committee on Regulated Industries by Chairman Alan Powell, SB 370 includes convenience stores, body art studios, businesses that employ licensed massage therapists, manufacturing facilities, and medical offices in the list of businesses that must post the human trafficking notice; allows the Georgia Board of Massage Therapy to initiate inspections of massage therapy businesses and board recognized massage therapy educational programs without notice; requires massage therapists affix a passport sized photo with their license certificate that is displayed at their place of work; and requires massage therapy board members to annually complete human trafficking awareness training.

"For years Georgia was considered a hot spot for human trafficking, but thanks to the GRACE Commission, under the leadership of First Lady Marty Kemp, we have established Georgia as a national leader in this fight by passing legislation that cracks down on both traffickers and buyers while also, and even more importantly, empowering survivors,” said Governor Brian Kemp. “I could not be more proud to sign the ninth piece of legislation brought forward by the GRACE Commission since its formation only 5 years ago, continue to go after human traffickers and make sure that those caught in trafficking situations know in Georgia, there is always help for them, both in getting to safety and in moving on to a better life.

Along with SB 370, Governor Kemp signed two additional pieces of legislation included below:

HB 993, sponsored by Representative Alan Powell, signed by Representatives Tyler Paul Smith, Jason Ridley, Derrick McCollum, J. Collins, and Trey Rhodes, carried in the Senate by Senator Bo Hatchett, and heard in the House Committee on Juvenile Justice by Chairwoman Mandi Ballinger and the Senate Judiciary Committee by Chairman Brian Strickland, creates the felony offense of grooming of a minor and prohibits the defense from prosecution for offenses relating to visual mediums depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct on the basis that the visual medium was created, adapted, or modified to show an identifiable minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Special thanks to Attorney General Chris Carr and Hannah Palmquist, the head of the Attorney General's Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit, for their support and work on this legislation

HB 1201, sponsored by Representative Houston Gaines, signed by Representative Tyler Paul Smith, Speaker Pro Tempore Jan Jones, Representatives Deborah Silcox, Soo Hong, and Katie Dempsey, and carried in the Senate by Senator Brian Strickland, allows human trafficking survivors that received first offender or conditional discharge status the ability to vacate such status for certain crimes, so long as the crime was a direct result of being a victim of human trafficking, and defines the term “commercial sexual exploitation recovery center.”

Special thanks to the Director of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, Jay Neal and the Commissioner of the Department of Human Services and Division of Family and Children Services, Candice Broce, for their support and work on this legislation.

Governor Kemp extends his appreciation to Lieutenant Governor Burt Jones, Speaker Jon Burns, and all of those whose diligent work and efforts led to him being able to sign these bills today.


Press Secretary Garrison Douglas


Deputy Press Secretary Carter Chapman