By Brent Addleman | The Center Square
Voters in The Green Mountain State will decide if the state’s Constitution is amended.
Gov. Phil Scott announced that Constitutional Amendment Proposal 2 will appear on November’s general election ballot. The proposal, if ratified by voters, would amend the state’s Constitution to read that all people are born free and that slavery and indentured servitude are illegal.
The proposal came via the General Assembly and would amend Article I of Chapter I of the Constitution to read, “All persons born free; their natural rights; slavery and indentured servitude prohibited.”
“Vermont is proud to have been the first state in the Union to outlaw slavery in its constitution, but this proposal to clarify the antiquated language is meaningful as well,” Scott said in the release. “We have come a long way since those words were originally written, but we know there is much more work to do.”
According to the release, the Constitution would read, if the proposal is ratified, “That all persons are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent, and unalienable rights, amongst which are the enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety; therefore no person born in this country, or brought from over sea, ought to be holden by law, to serve any person as a servant, slave or apprentice, after arriving to the age of twenty-one years, unless bound by the person’s own consent, after arriving to such age, or bound by law for the payment of debts, damages, fines, costs, or the like slavery and indentured servitude in any form are prohibited.”
According to the release, to amend the state’s Constitution, the Senate needs a two-thirds vote to send the proposal to the House of Representatives. The House needs a simple majority vote to push the proposal to the next biennial session of the General Assembly.
Then, the House and Senate must reach a simple majority to push the issue to the general election where voters make the final decision.