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Bill In Vermont Would Decriminalize Sex Work

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.