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Talks Continue To Raise Idaho’s Minimum Wage

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By Paul Johnson

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- A bill proposing to increase Idaho's minimum wage to $9.75/ hour by mid 2015 was passed into printing.
If the bill is passed, the minimum wage in Idaho will increase to $8.50 per hour on July 1 of this year, then to $9.75 per hour on July 1, 2015. For tipped employees, it will increase from $3.35 per hour to $3.80 per hour on July 1 of this year, and then to $4.25 per hour by July 1, 2015. In 2016, the minimum wage would go up annually to keep up with inflation.
Some advocates for the bill say increasing the minimum wage will be good for local businesses.

Adrienne Evans, a spokeswoman for the United Action for Idaho, said the more money employees have in their pocket, the more money goes into the local economy.

"Over time, historically, the two do balance out, but what it does do is enable young people and old people alike to be able to work 40 hours a week and not be living in poverty," Evans said.

Evans mentioned that most local businesses she's talked to pay over minimum wage, like Big City Coffee, it's the large corporations that this will force to pay their employees more.

"Essentially, it's corporations that are not paying higher wage, and then we subsidize them again by giving them tax breaks, so we're really not investing in our local communities and our local folks," Evans said.


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