A state representative has announced plans to introduce a bill to increase penalties for human trafficking convictions in Missouri.
Democratic Rep. Jason Kander said the measure he plans to introduce this week would boost Missouri penalties for human trafficking to the same level as federal statutes. He said federal penalties for human trafficking range from fines to five years and up to life in prison. Most Missouri human trafficking penalties go up to 15 years in prison.
Kander said more human trafficking cases are prosecuted at the federal level because of the stiffer penalties.
But he said increased state penalties would help state-level law enforcement crack down on the problem.
A press conference scheduled Monday in Kansas City to announce the measure was canceled because of icy conditions.