Slavery amendment topic of public hearing at Vt. Statehouse

Published: May. 8, 2019 at 12:14 PM EDT
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Lawmakers say amending the state's constitution is a long process, but those who showed up to a hearing say it's worth it to get rid of exceptions to slavery.

Fewer than 10 people showed up for Wednesday night's public hearing in Montpelier.

They want to get rid of a clause that says slavery is legal if someone consents to it. It also allows for indentured servants.

Vermont was the first state to abolish slavery in the 1700s.

Just last month, the Senate voted 28-1 to approve amending the constitution.

"The existence and the allowance of racism whether that's in the constitution or in systemic organization organizational problems that it has to be taken very seriously," said Pamela Swift, Asst. Professor at Larner College.

Democratic Senator Jeanette White says the change will let everyone know Vermont is a welcoming and inclusive state.