Resolution to remove slavery from Utah’s constitution passes out of Senate committee

Local News
Slavery resolution

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – A resolution to remove the word “slavery” from Utah’s constitution takes another step forward.

HJR8 passed unanimously out of Senate committee Monday morning.

Article I, Section 21 of Utah’s constitution currently reads “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within this State.”

HJR8 would amend Article I, Section 21 to read “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall exist within this State.”

Representative Sandra Hollins, (D) Salt Lake City is the sponsor for the resolution. 

Following concerns about how HJR8 would impact the criminal justice system, Hollins presented a substitution to the resolution.

“The concern was that it was going to disrupt the ability to be able to work inside the prison system. As I said, I feel like working should be part of the rehabilitation. There were also concerns that it was going to disrupt the court system and whether community service and judges being able to implement community services,” explained Hollins.

“Instead of having a system that demoralizes and takes away human dignity, we need to have education, we need to have trades that are taught and we need to have an interaction on mental health as well as every emotional instability that prisoners face,” said Scott Howell, Chair of the Pioneer Park Coalition, who was also on hand to lend his support to the resolution.

Howell said looking at the issue from a business standpoint, the slavery verbiage needs to be removed as quickly as possible. 

“How can we ever tell the world to come here with their software and their professional sports teams and have that in our constitution?” he asked rhetorically. 

So from a pure business standpoint, we need to fix it and fix it right.

The resolution now heads to the Senate floor for debate.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Utah Coronavirus

More Coronavirus Updates
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...

Good Morning Utah

More Good Morning Utah