Rep. Barbara Wheeler Appointed to Bipartisan Panel to Address Human Trafficking in Illinois

State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) is one of three House Republicans who will serve on a newly-created Human Trafficking Task Force in Illinois.

The bipartisan and bicameral task force, created through Public Act 99-0864, will consist of 12 members of the General Assembly, a representative from the Chicago Regional Human Trafficking Task Force and the Director of the State Police or a designee of the Director’s choosing. The group will conduct a study on the human trafficking problem in Illinois and will hold hearings to help develop a state plan to address the growing issue.

“Sadly, Chicago has emerged as a national hub for human trafficking, and incidents of these crimes have also been reported in the suburbs and in downstate Illinois,” Wheeler said. “The National Human Trafficking Resource Center recorded 94 human trafficking cases in Illinois this year through the end of June, and that number is up significantly from cases reported in Illinois last year. We must take bold steps to stop these predators and protect Illinoisans.”

Members of the task force will serve without compensation, and will submit their findings and recommendations to the General Assembly and to Governor Rauner before June 30 of 2017.

“Human trafficking is a very real problem in Illinois and across the United States,” said Wheeler. “I look forward to having in a role in the creation of a statewide plan to address this growing form of abuse.”