The state is changing its business practices to combat human trafficking

TOPEKA, Kan, (WIBW) -- The state’s war on human trafficking has already led to stronger penalties and required training for truck drivers.

“We’re one of the only states that moved all the way from the bottom of the heap, an F, to the top of the heap, an A,” Attorney General Derek Schmidt said.

During Monday’s press conference Gov. Jeff Colyer announced another way the state is taking action.

“We will be including new anti-human trafficking language on our bid terms, in our conditions, and event details for contractors in the state of Kansas,” Colyer explained.

All bid solicitations, excluding the Kansas Board of Regents, with the Department of Administration will include specific language.

“The state of Kansas as a matter of public policy encourages anyone doing business with the state of Kansas to take steps to discourage human trafficking,” Colyer read.

The new initiative is not a requirement, but advocates believe it will make a difference.

It would be something that would be viewed favorably by the negotiation team, and the review team and in the event that there were two bids that were virtually identical this would be something that could weigh in favor of one vendor over another,” Secretary of the Department of Administration Sarah Shipman explained.

Many hope this will be another way to help the many victims across the state.

“We see some of the most broken individuals that you can imagine. Most broken that I’ve ever seen in my life of over 30 years of working with the homeless and the poor. Those that are the victim of human trafficking are the most broken,” Barry Feaker with the Topeka Rescue Mission added.

The changes went into effect January 1st.

The new language will be incorporated as state contracts are re-bid.