Senate hears testimony on removing slavery from constitution
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont Senate members are hearing testimony on a proposed constitutional amendment that would eliminate any mention of slavery in the state constitution.
The Barre-Montpelier Times Argus reports more than a dozen supporters of the amendment attended a Senate Government Operations Committee hearing Thursday.
The Vermont Constitution says no person 21 or older should serve as a slave unless bound by their own consent or “by law for the payment of debts, damages, fines, costs, or the like.”
Supporters say removing the language is a step toward rectifying the legacy of slavery and acknowledging institutional racism.
Much of the state Senate has sponsored the amendment.
Some lawmakers and scholars say the change is unnecessary because owning slaves is already illegal under the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The committee will continue hearing testimony in the coming days.
Information from: The Times Argus, http://www.timesargus.com/