(FOX40.COM) — A bill that would classify child sex trafficking as a serious felony has been placed into what is known as the “suspense file” and could meet its ultimate fate on September 1.

SB 14 was taken up by the Assembly Appropriations Committee in mid-August after being voted down and then ultimately approved by the Public Safety Committee after backlash from the public and some lawmakers in the state, including the governor.

Now the bill is on a list of bills that will meet their fate at a suspense hearing, where legislators review bills and their financial impact, and where decisions on a bill are made without public discussion.

SB 14 was written by Senator Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) and would classify the trafficking of anyone under the age of 18 as a “serious felony” in the state of California. It would also categorize the offense under the state’s “three-strikes law,” which could lead to increased jail time and greater penalties for convicted traffickers.

“Selling a child to be raped over and over again is a crime that’s so grotesque, immoral, and barbaric,” Grove said. “It should be prevented and stopped at any cost.”

The bill, if passed, is expected to require funds from the state’s general fund because of incarceration expenses, which is why legislators placed it on the so-called suspense file.

“We can’t afford to not pass this bill,” Grove said at the August 16 hearing on the bill.

Some human trafficking survivors and advocates were in attendance at the hearing to express their support for the bill. Governor Gavin Newsom said he was surprised that SB 14 has been stalled and also expressed support for the bill.

Those opposed to SB 14 say they worry that victims of human trafficking who were forced to cooperate with their traffickers could also end up prosecuted and jailed.

The Chair of the Assembly Public Safety Committee, Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles), said he wanted to make amendments to the bill to address the issue.

“I believe we’re going to make this (SB-14) so much better than what it was before,” Jones-Sawyer said to FOX40.

In response, Grove said the bill will help the victims and not hurt them, and she disagreed that amendments needed to be made.

“Victims and survivors, we want to put them first,” Grove said to FOX40. She said she was disappointed that the bill was not voted on at the August 16 meeting and said she “will continue to fight on to support victims and survivors.”