A bill which will dramatically increase penalties for human trafficking in Montana is moving through the state legislature.

Senate Bill 265, which will drastically increase the fines on criminals convicted of human trafficking, will have its first hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday morning. 

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Mark Noland, R-Bigfork, would fine convicted human traffickers $400,000 for their crimes which is a great increase from the monetary penalty currently.

Currently, fines for human traffickers range from $50,000 to $100,000. 

“Criminals involved in the heinous crime of human trafficking do it for the money,” Noland said. “We have strong jail time already on the books for these crimes, but this bill will make it clear that human trafficking doesn’t pay in Montana. With SB 265, we’re showing that we have zero tolerance for criminals who ruin innocent people’s lives by trafficking them for profit. If you’re caught trafficking human beings in Montana, you will pay for it.”