Budget conference: Money slotted to fight human trafficking in NE Florida

NEFL Intercept
Help is coming for Clay, Putnam and St. Johns Counties.

A Northeast Florida initiative battling human trafficking, child exploitation and kidnapping will get some state funding in the upcoming fiscal year.

The House and the Senate have agreed to slot $764,852 to the Northeast Florida INTERCEPT Task Force. This group serves Clay, Putnam, and St. Johns Counties.

“The requested funds will directly support the Northeast Florida INTERCEPT Task Force, whose mission is to investigate and assist with the prosecution of child exploitation and human trafficking cases,” the appropriations request from Sen. Travis Hutson asserts.

“The funds will allow the Task Force to create and use a victim identification and forensics lab, a mobile forensics lab and server, password decryption silo, and on-site forensics/interview van. These facilities include the most effective and efficient tools that law enforcement needs to save more children and survivors of human trafficking.”

The money will be administered by a governing board, allowing the task force to collaborate “with law enforcement partners and nonprofits to prevent, investigate, and prosecute cases related to child sexual exploitation and human trafficking — crimes involving the most vulnerable people in our communities.”

“This one-time appropriation will provide the task force with critical operational technology and equipment that it needs to save more children and trafficking survivors,” the appropriation request asserts.

The group already has a public-private partnership with a legendary Northeast Florida name, The Tim Tebow Foundation.

The former Florida Gators quarterback explained the group’s mission in moving words to WJCT earlier this year.

“What this group is fighting for is real MVPs, meaning the most vulnerable people who desperately, desperately need us, need you, need all of us to work together to put the mission above the credit,” Tebow said.

Budget conference subcommittees will meet throughout the week to resolve differences in each area. When remaining issues reach an impasse, they will be “bumped” to the full budget conference committee.

Lawmakers must reach an agreement on a final spending plan by May 2 to meet the 72-hour “cooling off” period required by the state constitution before they can vote on the budget to avoid pushing the Regular Session past its scheduled May 5 end date.

Staff Reports


  • Acid Head Ed 🖕

    April 24, 2023 at 12:25 pm

    Publix grocery stores 2021-2022, $54 billion in sales, $14 billion in profits, only $205 million in wages. That means that if you spend $54 at Publix, not even a dollar goes to employees. Then if a woman gets caught being sex trafficked by a man who gives her $1 and keeps $54 dollars we have big task force assembled. Maybe if she could get a better deal working at Publix then she wouldn’t be selling her azz for the same deal she would get working at Publix. Only difference in those two senarios is the sex.

    • Ed

      April 24, 2023 at 6:15 pm

      Odd blaming Publix for sex trafficking.
      Sure a Publix job is far better then working the streets.
      Publix associates are well paid.

      • Acid Head Ed 👍

        April 24, 2023 at 7:36 pm

        That’s not the point that was made. A sex worker being “managed” gives the “manager” a large percentage of the profits that they themselves bring the manager. $54 billion in sales in one year, only $205 million in wages paid to employees. Publix associates don’t get paid well when you look at the ratio of profits to wages. $14 billion in profits and only $205 million in wages means you could have easily paid those people double and not even felt it. Workers are so used to being paid “better than what others get paid in the area” and don’t ask questions. But you have to understand that these aren’t living wages AND too small of a percentage of profits to justify not paying people a living wage. They aren’t well paid. Well paid would be a living wage..$80,000 a year. Why? Because every one of those workers brings Publix their $54 billion in sales.. that’s why. That and they could and it would barely effect their profits.

  • Dont Say FLA

    April 24, 2023 at 12:43 pm

    There’s a reason going around for why Publix probably has the special folks bagging your groceries, and it ain’t being any sort of corporate do-gooder. I heard Publix knows very well, adults with intellectual disabilities do not qualify for federal minimum wage protection. Publix, like any other employer, can pay their “special” baggers pennies on the dollar that would have to be paid to a neurotypical teenager. People are saying Publix and its “special” baggers are just a non-sexual version of human trafficking. I think it’s true.

    • Acid Head Ed 👍

      April 24, 2023 at 7:46 pm

      That and they hire a lot of old people and young people.. like teenagers to do low paying jobs in stores.. because they won’t complain about wages. They won’t go look at the SEC filing and see that Publix takes $14 billion in profits and only pays $205 million in wages company wide in one year. What if they paid out one billion or two billion in wages? What would that do for those people’s lives and what would that do to their profits? It would do wonders for people’s lives but they would only have $12 billion in profits instead of $14 billion. Wouldn’t that be terrible. Keep in mind they don’t face a bunch of scary threats in the market.. they are the ones taking market share and expanding. I’m not singling out Publix for any particular reason either… other big companies are the same way. Rake in huge money and continue to expand while they don’t pay living wages… consider their employees to be replaceable and claim “threats in the marketplace” as an excuse.

Comments are closed.


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