Exclusive: Representative Sandra Hollins drafts bill to remove ‘slavery’ from Utah’s constitution

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – ABC4 News broke the story in November 2018 that a form of slavery still exists in our state’s constitution and now a Utah representative is taking action to get it removed.

Representative Sandra Hollins of District 23, knew that the law existed in the constitution of other state’s, but was “shocked” to learn it was still on Utah’s books.

“When you {Brittany Johnson} came out with the story and was like Utah still has this on the books, I was like, oh wow!” the representative told Brittany Johnson Thursday afternoon during an exclusive interview.

Our story caught the attention of several lawmakers and state leaders, including Hollins. Since the story aired, she has drafted a bill to remove the word ‘slavery’ from the constitution.

“I’m going to completely remove it,” she said.

Hollins says the language of the article is “outdated” and does not mirror Utah’s values.

“It doesn’t reflect who we are. It doesn’t reflect us as Utahns. It doesn’t reflect us as Americans. It’s part of a dark past — a dark past that many of us still don’t want to hold a conversation about. It shouldn’t be allowed in the Utah constitution and it shouldn’t be in the American constitution,” she explained.

Tackling this bill has nothing to do with race for the representative, but it’s about “doing what is right.”

“Not all those people who are surprised by it that said it needs to be removed are not people in the African-American culture.”

Right now the bill is in draft form and it will be introduced during the legislative session. The bill would need to pass the House and Senate by 2/3 vote. If it does, the bill will be on the 2020 ballot. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Utah VP Debate

More Utah Debate
Inside Utah Politics Logo

Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...