What a difference a year makes.

Victims advocates came very close to seeing Hawaii’s first human trafficking legislation become law last year. But after law enforcement, prosecutors and public defenders alike filed protests, then-Gov. Linda Lingle vetoed it.

Fast forward a year.

Both a labor trafficking bill and one to toughen existing prostitution laws — and address sex trafficking — have made it to the governor’s desk. And this time, law enforcement and victims advocates appear to agree. There’s no indication Gov. Neil Abercrombie will veto them.

That law enforcement and human trafficking victims’ advocates managed to agree on the issues is remarkable, given that they started with conflicting positions at the beginning of the session.

Lawmakers introduced six human trafficking bills this year. But from the get-go, law enforcement adopted the same refrain as last year: A new law isn’t needed, existing laws are adequate.

Mid-session, President Barack Obama’s personal ambassador on human trafficking visited Hawaii and met with stakeholders, including the governor and Honolulu Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro.

Luis CdeBaca, the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, told Civil Beat that it’s important for states to pass anti-trafficking statutes even if they think the problem is covered by existing laws.

All the while, federal authorities continued to pursue criminal human trafficking charges and civil damages. Last month, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a discrimination suit against six Hawaii farms and Global Horizons, a labor contractor, for unfair employment practices.

The headlines of stories we’ve written tracking the bills’ progress show the tough road human trafficking measures have traveled this session:

A separate sex trafficking statute didn’t survive, but victims advocates worked closely with Kaneshiro and many of the same principles made it into the prosecutor’s prostitution bill.

Credit also goes to Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland and Rep. John Mizuno, who fought in their respective chambers to keep the bills alive.

If Abercrombie signs the human trafficking bills into law, Hawaii will be able to lose the ignominious status of being one of just four states without a human trafficking law.

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