Human trafficking bill among nearly 30 Cooper signs into law

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Increased efforts to discourage human trafficking in North Carolina are among one of nearly 30 additional bills that Gov. Roy Cooper has signed into law.

The list of additional bills Cooper has enacted — released Thursday night — means fewer than 50 remain on his desk from the end of the most recent General Assembly session. He must sign or veto bills by July 30, or what’s left over becomes law without his signature.

The new human trafficking law makes the crime a more severe felony. It also creates a licensure system for massage and bodywork therapy establishments and requires the therapists to obtain statewide privilege licenses. Human trafficking prevention experts say the businesses sometimes are used as a front for illegal sexual activities involving women held against their will.