Nevada Legislature convenes Monday | KLAS

Nevada Constitution’s slavery provision on Legislature’s radar

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The 2023 Nevada Legislature is expected to take a stand against slavery — hardly a controversial move, but a step to remove outdated language from the state constitution.

Assembly Joint Resolution 10 (AJR10) passed unanimously in the 2021 Legislature, but requires passage again this year to advance to the 2024 ballot. The Nevada constitution still allows slavery as punishment for a crime.

The provision of the constitution has been around for years, but no one has actually been sentenced to slavery.

A description of AJR10 on the Legislature’s website reads as follows: “Proposes to amend the Ordinance of the Nevada Constitution and the Nevada Constitution to remove language authorizing the use of slavery and involuntary servitude as a criminal punishment.”

AJR10 was sponsored by Assemblyman Howard Watts III, D-Las Vegas, during his first term. He returns this session with a larger role, chairing the Assembly Growth and Infrastructure committee and serving on the Natural Resources and Ways and Means committees.

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