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Tighter human trafficking laws up for vote in state Assembly

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - State laws against human trafficking would be tightened under a bill that's up for approval in the Wisconsin Assembly Thursday.

Lawmakers of both parties have gotten behind the measure. It would more broadly define human trafficking as any scheme to control an individual -- and prosecutors would no longer have to prove it was done against the victim's consent.

Also, trafficking victims who are prostitutes could ask a judge to expunge or vacate their convictions for prostitution. Judges would have to be convinced that society would not be harmed.

Also Thursday, the Assembly will consider letting anyone invest money in a person's 529-EdVest college savings plan. Under current law, only relatives can invest those funds.

The bill would also increase maximum contributions by the rate of inflation each year. The Senate unanimously passed the bill a month ago.

The Assembly also plans to vote on a bill requiring those who officiate at weddings to be at least 18. Under current law, couples must be at least 18 to get married -- but there's no age limit to pronounce them as husband and wife.

Lawmakers will also get an update on the state of Wisconsin's 11 Indian tribes. The Menominee tribe's newly-elected chairwoman, Laurie Boivin, will deliver the address.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)