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Hollins says the language of the article is “outdated” and does not mirror Utah’s values.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

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 News at 5 and 6, Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. 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...