Albany (Mar. 6)
New York became the first state in the nation to officially bar racial and religious discrimination in employment when the Senate last night, by a vote of 49 to 6, adopted the Ives-Quinn bill. Seven more states are expected to adopt similar legislation.
Governor Thomas E. Dewey, who will sign the measure this week, issued the following statement hailing the Senate’s action, “Passage of the Ives-Quinn bill to combat racial and religious discrimination in employment is a historic step. I am happy indeed that our state has led the entire nation in this great social advance which will assure equality of opportunity for all our people, regardless of race, color, creed or national origin.”
The bill becomes effective on July 1. It creates a five-man commission charged with fighting racial and religious discrimination in employment as the opening gun in a long-range and broader program aimed against all types of discrimination. To prepare the way for the long-range goal, the bill provides that the commission may begin immediately to administer educational and persuasive anti-discrimination programs all over the state. In the field of employment, the bill carries maximum penalties for offenders convicted of discrimination of a year in jail or $500 fine, or both.
Similar legislation is under consideration in Massachusetts and New Jersey, Ohio, California, Illionois, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. A public hearing on bills for a permanent FEPC is to be held in Boston tomorrow, and prominent civic leaders have voiced their approval of such legislation. In New Jersey, both Democratic and Republican legislators are supporting measures to bar discrimination. The Democrats have already introduced several bills and the Republicans announced this week that they will introduce one which has the support of the state’s chief executive, Gov. Walter E. Edge.