PR.2 – DECLARATION OF RIGHTS CLARIFYING THE PROHIBITION ON SLAVERY AND INDENTURED SERVITUDE
in the State House of Representatives
on February 4, 2022, by a vote of
Purpose: Proposal 2 proposes to amend Article 1 of Vermont’s state Constitution to read: "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 (removed section) slavery and indentured servitude in any form are prohibited.”
The Senate removed this section: “….no person born in this country, or brought from oversea, 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…."
This was the final vote in a four vote process (two in the Senate and two in the House) over two legislative sessions that places the Amendment on the general ballot for voter approval or rejection.
Analysis: Those voting YES believe it is necessary to clarify the illegality of slavery in the state Constitution.
Those voting NO believe this is an unnecessary act of "virtue signaling" that has no impact on the Vermonters living today, but disrespects and to some extent "erases" Vermont's history as the first state to outlaw slavery in the Union.
As Recorded in the House Journal, Friday, February 4, 2022. “Shall the House adopt the constitutional proposal in concurrence?, was decided in the affirmative. Yeas, 139. Nays, 3." (Read the Journal p. 186 – 187).
Watch the floor debate on YouTube.
How They Voted
(Click on your Rep’s name to send an email)
Sally Achey (R - Middletown Springs) – YES
William Lippert (D – Hinesburg) – YES
Curtis McCormack (D – Burlington) – YES
Kirk White (P/D - Bethel) – YES
Rebecca White (D – Hartford) – YES
Dane Whitman (D - Bennington) – YES
Terri Lynn Williams (R - Granby) – YES
Theresa Wood (D – Waterbury) – YES
David Yacovone (D – Morristown) – YES
Michael Yantachka (D – Charlotte) – YES
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