Proposed change to the state constitution to make it clear slavery is prohibited fails in the Louisiana Senate

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A legislative proposal that supporters say would make it clear in the state constitution that slavery is prohibited in Louisiana fails to get the two-thirds vote needed in the Senate in order for the measure to appear on the October 14th ballot. Gonzales Senator Eddie Lambert voted “no.”

“Why do we need to be changing this, it seems like what we have is fine, I don’t know of any problems where we need to be changing the constitution,” said Lambert.

The United States abolished slavery in the United States in 1865. Lambert told Baton Rouge Senator Cleo Fields he does not believe the state constitution needs to be changed when it comes to prohibiting slavery.

“In the current constitution, it says slavery and involuntary servitude are prohibited except in the latter cases punishment for a crime, isn’t that pretty clear,” said Lambert.

“It’s clear to you, but it’s not clear to everybody,” said Fields.

Baton Rouge Representative Edmond Jordan proposed the change to the state constitution. Jordan says the state constitution says slavery and involuntary servitude are illegal but include exceptions for forced convict labor. But Lambert argued the constitution is clear that slavery is illegal.

“Looks pretty clear right now and this is just a situation where we are looking for something that doesn’t exist, I don’t think you can be any clearer than this,” said Lambert.

Several states have amended their state constitutions to make it clear that involuntary servitude and slavery is prohibited.

The vote was 21-16 in the Louisiana Senate for the measure, but it needed 26 votes.

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