Constitutional Amendment to Remove Reference to Slavery Passes Senate

24 April 2019

With a 28 - 1 vote, the Vermont Senate advanced Prop. 2, a Constitutional Amendment that would remove the references to slavery currently in the Vermont Constitution.

“Vermonters take pride in being recognized as the first state to outlaw slavery in 1777,” said Lt. Governor Zuckerman. “Prop. 2 ensures our Constitution is updated by clarifying its language to clearly state slavery, in all its forms, is prohibited. It is an important step to ensure all Vermonters are protected now and into the future.”

“The framers of our Constitution wanted to make sure they protected the rights of Vermont’s inhabitants,” shared Sen. Jeanette White, Chair of the Senate Government Operations Committee and Presenter of Prop. 2. “As we reviewed the wording and our history we found evidence that Vermont condemned slavery….Our Committee considers this proposal a step to make it very clear that Vermont prohibits slavery or indentured servitude in any form. We agreed it is worth clarifying our language to make it clear Vermont is a state welcoming to all and where all are valued.”

“I think this is the right vote,” said Senator Pollina, Vice Chair of the Senate Government Operations Committee. “At an April 11th public hearing, I listened to Vermonters of color who expressed they felt more and more unsafe given the rise of white supremacy and erosion of human rights. We are elected to ensure we do everything possible to protect the rights of our citizens today and into the future and Prop.2 does that.”

Prop. 2 now moves to the Vermont House for consideration. A Constitutional amendment must pass both the Senate and House in two different Biennium and then must be supported by a majority vote of Vermonters in the November 2022 General Election to successfully amend the Constitution.

Contact Information

Office of the Lieutenant Governor
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05633
Office: (802) 828-2226
Cell: (802) 622-4136
Email the Lieutenant Governor

Deb Wolf
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