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Rick Scott Highlights Florida Anti-Human Trafficking Efforts

Gov. Rick Scott highlighted efforts to fight human trafficking as part of the state budget on Wednesday. 

Nearly $7 million of Florida's budget will be dedicated to safe homes and service providers across the state for victims of human trafficking and other services. An additional $2 million was dedicated for the PACE Center for Girls to fund an after school program and allow more than 60 additional girls the opportunity to join PACE.

The PACE Center aims to serve at-risk girls continue and complete their education, stay out of the criminal justice system and obtain the skills necessary to lead productive lives. 

Two of the seven safe homes are located in Miami, while three others are located in the greater Tampa Bay Area.

"It is important that we support great organizations like the PACE Center for Girls and other prevention providers and safe homes across the state which partner with our law enforcement in efforts to fight human trafficking," said Scott.

“Florida has emerged as a national leader for our progress in responding to the needs of human trafficking victims, especially juveniles," Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary Mike Carroll. "Through collaboration at the community level, we are building a realistic and robust system of care that will truly help young victims rebuild their lives and help Florida continue to strengthen the fight against this heinous crime.”

Scott also recently signed legislation to establish harsher penalties for human traffickers in the Sunshine State.  

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