Bill Summary for H 971 (2023-2024)

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Summary date: 

May 1 2024

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2023-2024 Session
House Bill 971 (Public) Filed Wednesday, May 1, 2024
AN ACT DIRECTING THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR TO DEVELOP HUMAN TRAFFICKING AWARENESS TRAINING, REQUIRING LODGING ESTABLISHMENTS, ACCOMMODATION FACILITATORS, AND PROPERTY MANAGERS FOR VACATION RENTALS TO IMPLEMENT HUMAN TRAFFICKING AWARENESS TRAINING, AND INCREASING THE PUNISHMENT FOR A FIRST OFFENSE OF SOLICITING A PROSTITUTE.
Intro. by Crutchfield, Reeder, Arp, Sasser.

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Bill summary

Enacts Article 24, GS Chapter 130A, titled Human Trafficking Public Awareness in Lodging Establishments. Includes defined terms which incorporate existing GS Chapter 130A definitions for "employee", "employer", and "lodging establishment". Directs the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to develop a training course to inform and educate individuals about human trafficking in consultation with the NC Human Trafficking Commission (Commission). Requires DHHS to ensure the training is accessible on its website to individuals with login credentials provided by DHHS. Permits DHHS to identify existing courses. Requires lodging establishments to ensure employees with housekeeping or check-in and check-out responsibilities receive annual human trafficking awareness training developed or identified by DHHS; implement a reporting procedure for suspected human trafficking; and prominently display signs that contain the National Human Trafficking Resource hotline information in consultation with the NC Restaurant and Lodging Association. Makes willful and knowing violations subject to a $500 penalty for the first violation, $1,000 for a second violation, and $2,000 for subsequent violations. Specifies that the Article does not create a private cause of action or limit or impair other rights and available remedies under law.

Enacts GS 42A-39, establishing conditions that must be met for accommodation facilitators, defined by incorporating the definition for the term set forth in GS Chapter 105, to contract with a landlord or real estate broker offering a vacation rental for lease. Directs that facilitators (1) require vacation rental providers acknowledge completion of human trafficking awareness training developed or identified by DHHS (applicable to lodging establishments under new Article 24, GS Chapter 130A) within the last year and (2) implement a reporting procedure for suspected human trafficking occurring at vacation rentals. Makes failure of accommodation facilitators to satisfy either requirement, or the intentional material misstatement of a vacation rental provider in an acknowledgement of training, an unfair trade practice in violation of GS 75-1.1. Specifies that the statute does not create a private cause of action or limit or impair other rights and available remedies under law.

Makes the above changes applicable to activities occurring on or after October 1, 2024.

Amends GS 14-205.1 to make solicitation of another for the purpose of prostitution a Class I felony (currently, a Class 1 misdemeanor). Applies to offenses committed on or after December 1, 2024.

Appropriates $500,000 in nonrecurring funds from the General Fund to the Administrative Office of the Courts for 2024-25 to further the work of the Commission. Effective July 1, 2024.