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Virginia gov. launches effort to remove discriminatory laws

Ralph Northam , 73rd Governor of Virginia since January 13, 2018, Photo Date: 11/11/2018 / Photo: Alexandria Blanche / USMC / (MGN)
Ralph Northam , 73rd Governor of Virginia since January 13, 2018, Photo Date: 11/11/2018 / Photo: Alexandria Blanche / USMC / (MGN)
Published: Jun. 5, 2019 at 2:56 PM EDT
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Gov. Ralph Northam has signed a bill striking Jim Crow-era exceptions from Virginia's minimum-wage law, and he formed a commission to find other discriminatory language in state laws and regulations.

The bill the Democrat signed Tuesday eliminates an exemption in state law that said certain jobs traditionally held by African Americans, including ushers and doormen, didn't have to pay minimum wage.

And in his executive order, Northam tasked the commission with identifying other examples of "vestiges of inequity and inequality" on Virginia's books, and issuing its findings by November.

Northam pledged to focus on addressing Virginia's longstanding history of racial inequity after a blackface scandal nearly forced him from office in February.

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