Some Vermont lawmakers hope to make sex work safer and remove the stigma that often prevents sex workers from seeking police protection and health care.
A bill introduced last month by four female legislators would decriminalize sex work, while the state would maintain its laws against sex trafficking.
Rep. Selene Colburn, the bill's lead sponsor, thinks a related proposal will have a better chance at movement this year. It would give immunity to people who were victims of or witnessed a crime while engaged in sex work or sex trafficking so they can report it to law enforcement. The bill also calls for the creation of a panel to make recommendations on modernizing Vermont's sex work laws. That bill was referred to a committee on Wednesday.