Senate: Community Colleges – Victims of Human Trafficking – Exemption from Out-of-County Fees

SB 335, Support

The Maryland Catholic Conference (“Conference”) represents the public-policy interests of the three Roman Catholic (arch)dioceses serving Maryland: the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Diocese of Wilmington.

SB 335 exempts victims of human trafficking from paying a specified out-of-county fee at community colleges in the State, authorizes each board of community college trustees to waive a specified out-of-county fee for specified students, and requires an application for a waiver of the out-of-county fee to include evidence that the applicant is a victim of human trafficking.

Human trafficking is a pervasive problem in the United States. Unfortunately, Maryland is not immune to human trafficking, also known as modern slavery. Therefore, we must do what we can to both stop human trafficking and help its victims. Legislation like this provides additional assistance to victims who tend to be very vulnerable as they work to move forward in their lives. The exemption from out-of-county fees will make education more financially accessible to human trafficking victims who may have had to relocate for any number of reasons and cannot establish residency in the county where a community college is located.

The Conference appreciates your consideration and urges your favorable support of SB 335.