- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 22, 2016

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - New Hampshire lawmakers are considering a bill that would make it a felony for someone to pay or offer to pay for sex with a minor, an act only punishable as a misdemeanor under existing law.

Advocates for the bill say it strengthens the state’s existing human trafficking laws by ensuring that people engaged in buying sex from traffickers are subject to strict penalties. It is part of a national initiative to combat sex trafficking by a nonprofit called Shared Hope International.

The New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence is also backing the bill, saying it’s important to hold customers as well as traffickers accountable for exploiting minors.

The Legislature passed a bill in 2014 enhancing penalties for people who engage in human sex trafficking.

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