The state Senate this week approved legislation that would strengthen the ability of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Child Abuse Response Team to combat child abuse.

Senate Bill 1002 would provide a funding mechanism for CART, and the Internet Crimes Against Children ) Task Force. ICAC agents investigate technology-driven crimes against children including child pornography, child abuse and human trafficking.

Sen. Dan Newberry, author of the proposal, said the bill would provide law enforcement with the resources to protect children and prosecute some of the state’s worst offenders.

Newberry said he was motivated to file the proposal after learning about the shocking amount of uploading of child pornography being detected by the ICAC Task Force. ICAC agents report that as many as 1500 such crimes occur daily.

Newberry’s legislation states that any person convicted of a crime punishable by a fine of $25 or more, or by incarceration, will be ordered to pay a $10 fee. Funds collected through the fee would then be distributed to the Internet Crimes Against Children Prosecution Revolving Fund and the OSBI Revolving Fund for use by CART and the Internet Crimes Against Children Unit.

Approved by a vote of 46-0, the measure now advances to the House for consideration.