LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Michael Webber and Rep. Mark Tisdel on Wednesday introduced measures in both chambers of the state Legislature to eliminate the exception clause in Michigan’s ban on slavery and involuntary servitude.
Webber introduced Senate Joint Resolution G to amend a clause in Michigan’s 1963 constitution that permits the use of involuntary servitude as criminal punishment.
The resolution would delete the words “unless for the punishment of crime” from Section 9 of Article 1 of the Michigan Constitution, which reads, “Neither slavery, nor involuntary servitude unless for the punishment of crime, shall ever be tolerated in this state.”
“This is a commonsense update to something that doesn’t belong in the Michigan Constitution in the first place,” said Webber, R-Rochester Hills. “I am confident this important correction will receive support from all sides of the aisle and in both chambers.”
Tisdel introduced the same measure in the House of Representatives as House Joint Resolution G. If approved by the Legislature, the proposed constitutional amendment would be presented to voters for approval in the next general election.
“There should be no exceptions to our constitution’s ban on slavery and involuntary servitude,” said Tisdel, R-Rochester Hills, “I am proud to introduce this crucial and long-overdue amendment to our state constitution, and I look forward to working in a bipartisan manner to get it done.”