- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 19, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Human traffickers could face harsher penalties and lawsuits under a new law signed by Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts.

Ricketts approved a law Tuesday that would allow victims or their parents to sue the traffickers.

The law will also allow prosecutors to file more severe felony charges against traffickers, including those who use threats or violence, and those who target victims younger than 16 years old.

Supporters called the bill a public health issue and pointed to reports citing weak enforcement in the state.

The bill by Sen. Jim Scheer of Norfolk was one of the main proposals backed by Attorney General Doug Peterson this year.

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The bill is LB294

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