Tennessee State Capitol Drone 2021

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - A resolution that would allow Tennesseans to abolish all forms of slavery in the state will now come before all Tennesseans for a vote.

The House of Representatives passed the measure on Tuesday night.

Currently, the Tennessee Constitution bans the use of slavery, except as a form of criminal punishment for inmates.

Now, as with all proposed constitutional amendments, once it’s signed by Gov. Bill Lee, it will be placed on the 2022 ballot for voters to make the final decision.

The bill was sponsored by state Rep. Joe Towns, D-Memphis, and state Sen. Raumesh Akbari, D-Memphis.

“Today is a historic day as this state has taken a definitive step forward in stripping all forms of slavery from the Tennessee State Constitution,” Towns said in a statement Tuesday night. “Some Tennesseans may be prisoners, but, by God, they will not be slaves. We are the first Southern state to embrace universal abolition. I am proud to have carried this resolution and now we need all Tennesseans to join us in correcting this wrong by voting for this constitutional amendment in November of 2022.”

The Tennessee State Senate approved the resolution in March.


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