ALBANY — New York State Legislators have reintroduced a measure that would decriminalize prostitution.
Both bills in the State Senate and Assembly are currently backed by six New York City representatives.
The measure aims to maintain laws that relate to trafficking, consent and expunge prior convictions of individuals prosecuted for sex work.
New York would become the first state in the nation to pass legislation to decriminalize sex work, provided a version of the bills make it to the Governor’s desk.
Last year’s version did not make it out of committee, as reforms to sex work address a highly contentious issue.
Research shows that criminal prosecutions disproportionately affect low-income, female sex workers while ignoring their patrons. Progressive critics of the bills say they lack built-in safeguards that would address potential concerns of prostitution.