Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam Launches Effort to Remove Jim Crow-era Rules and Discriminatory Language from State’s Laws

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam pauses to wipe his eye while making remarks dealing with gun violence as he held a news conference inside the Patrick Henry Building in Richmond, Va. Tuesday, June 4, 2019. Northam is summoning lawmakers back to the state Capitol to consider a package of gun-control legislation after Friday's mass shooting in Virginia Beach. (Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam pauses to wipe his eye while making remarks dealing with gun violence as he held a news conference inside the Patrick Henry Building in Richmond, Va. Tuesday, June 4, 2019. Northam is summoning lawmakers back to the state Capitol to consider a package of gun-control legislation after Friday’s mass shooting in Virginia Beach. (Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

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.

SOURCE: AP