State lawmakers will consider a bill that would vacate prostitution sentences for human-trafficking victims among nearly 130 other new measures when they return in January, a panel of legislative leaders decided on Thursday.

The Legislative Council approved 27 additional bills for consideration next session. Lawmakers whose bills were rejected when the panel met last month were given the chance to appeal that decision.

Republican Rep. Amy Volk, of Scarborough, said the problem of human trafficking in Maine is growing and a national hotline has seen a sharp increase in the number of calls it receives. She said 14 other states have signed similar bills into law.

“Progress is being made in raising awareness of human trafficking in Maine and in fighting it, but we need this bill to continue the fight and allow victims to get on with their lives,” she told the Democratic-controlled council.

Democrats have been heavily criticized for initially rejecting Volk’s bill when the panel met last month. The bill was approved unanimously Thursday.

Other measures that will be considered next session include ones designed to provide property tax relief for seniors and one that would allow unused state buildings to be sold and converted into homeless shelters for veterans.

Rejected measures include one that would require some welfare recipients to prove they’ve applied to at least three jobs before getting benefits. The bill’s sponsor, House Republican Leader Ken Fredette, of Newport, has said it’s likely that bill will be introduced by Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s office, which means it still may be taken up next session.

The panel also rejected a measure that would restore municipal revenue sharing, which was cut by about $75 million in the current budget, and a bill to legalize and tax the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

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