DENVER (AP) – A bill tacking on much bigger penalties for soliciting a prostitute has won initial backing in the Colorado Senate.
Lawmakers supported the change Friday with no debate.
The measure adds a minimum $5,000 fine for the crime of buying sex, up to a maximum of $10,000. The money would go to so-called “john schools” to teach men about human trafficking.
Anti-prostitution advocates say Colorado should raise fines, which are usually levied by cities and can be as low as $75. That’s less than littering in some cases.
The higher fines would be used for scared straight-type programs for johns. John schools are in place in several large cities and have been credited for reducing recidivism, though no Colorado city currently has a john school.
The bill faces a more formal Senate vote before it can move to the House.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)