Late Monday night Rep. Rosa C. Rebimbas (R-70) voted in favor of two important bills that would keep Connecticut’s talented youth in the state, and keep others safe from sexual predators. Rep. Rebimbas co-sponsored and voted in favor of SB 78 – An Act Concerning the Learn Here, Live Here Program, which expands the types of educational institutions eligible for this program to include private schools, in addition to public universities and vocational-technical schools as the law currently stands.
The Learn Here, Live Here Program allows graduates to set aside 100 percent of their state income tax liability into a special account. The funds in the account can be used for buying their first home, paying off school loans, or starting a business in the state of Connecticut.
“I am pleased to see that this bill not only makes it easier for young adults to finance the purchase of a home in CT– helping to stimulate the private housing market – but it also will help attract educated and skilled young adults, and entrepreneurs to stay in the state. This initiative is a win-win for our state economy and our young adults who often struggle to make ends meet in Connecticut.” Rep. Rebimbas said.
The bill will help curtail the state’s “brain drain,” or the all-too-common occurrence of young people getting their education in Connecticut and then leaving the state to avoid the high cost of living. Connecticut has one of the highest rates in the nation of young adults leaving the state to seek permanent residence elsewhere. This bill would provide these young adults with an additional incentive to stay in Connecticut.
The bill now goes to the Governor’s desk for his signature.
Rep. Rebimbas also co-sponsored HB 5504 – An Act Concerning Commercial Sexual Exploitation of a Minor. The bill makes it a crime to knowingly publish, disseminate or display an advertisement for a commercial sex act with a minor.
These “escort ads” are used to match adults with exploited children for the purpose of committing sexual acts, forced prostitution, and other forms of sexual deviance.
“Sexual advertisements featuring minors generate increased exposure to and promotion of statutory rape and child pornography. These disturbing advertisements put our young people at risk for victimization, exploitation, and human trafficking. We need to protect Connecticut’s youth and fight back against this horrific avenue for perverse denigration.” Rep. Rebimbas said.
This bill comes on the heels of a prostitution arrest in Simsbury in November 2011. The prostitute solicited customers through advertisements on the internet and featured photographs of “young” Asian girls.
Some websites are known to feature underage prostitute advertisements. According to the National Association of Attorneys General, Backpage.com, a classified advertising website, is the premier site for human trafficking in the U.S. The site sells cars, books and young girls. The website earns more than $22 million annually from prostitution advertisements and has led to arrests in 22 states.
And according to the AIM Group, a media research company, the year after Craigslist eliminated advertisements for prostitution from its sites in the U.S., the amount spent on online prostitution advertising dropped by more than 50 percent.
The bill now goes to the Senate for further consideration.