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Eye On Boise

Minimum wage hike bill introduced, but won’t get a hearing

Here’s a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho Democrats' plan to raise the state's minimum wage to $9.25 per hour over the next two years might be over before it begins. Sen. Curt McKenzie, who chairs the GOP-controlled Senate State Affairs Committee, started the hearing Friday by saying he didn't anticipate any more discussions on the bill. The bill was introduced unanimously with no discussion, mainly as a courtesy to minority party leadership. House Assistant Minority Leader Rep. Mat Erpelding, who brought the bill before the committee, argues that it's better to gradually raise the minimum wage rather than wait for an abrupt increase from the federal government. Erpelding says more than 10,000 Idahoans earn minimum wage, roughly half of whom are women with children. Idaho's minimum wage currently mirrors the $7.25 per hour federal minimum.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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