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Plan to remove slavery from Utah constitution passes House

File: Utah State Capitol

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Utah House of Representatives has unanimously approved removing a provision in the state constitution that allows slavery as punishment for a crime.

Democratic Rep. Sandra Hollins said Monday that the line no longer reflects the character of the state or its people.

Hollins, the only black member of the Utah Legislature, has said the loophole was taken from the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and aimed at addressing a potential labor shortage, but it’s now far out of date.

Her bill now moves to the Utah Senate. If it clears the full Legislature by a two-thirds majority, it will appear on the ballot next year.

Other states like Oregon and Nevada have similar provisions. Colorado removed the language from their constitution last year.