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Northam launches effort to remove discriminatory laws

(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 June 4 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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