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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Small-business agenda goes beyond minimum wage

Minimum wage may be getting most of the headlines, but other issues that affect small businesses will be debated as state legislatures convene around the country. Tax cuts will be high on many agendas as will various kinds of leave. A look at some of the issues lawmakers are expected to take up in 2014:

Jay Inslee mentions taxes, education in State of the State address

OLYMPIA – Washington should raise its minimum wage, spend more on schools and highways, raise teacher salaries and do something about climate change, Gov. Jay Inslee said Tuesday. “We have done hard things. And we can do more,” the Democratic governor told a joint legislative session in his annual State of the State address.

Washington minimum wage jumps to $9.32

SEATTLE – Washington’s already highest-in-the-nation minimum wage will jump to $9.32 an hour today. The hourly increase of 13 cents, from $9.19 to $9.32 an hour, reflects a change in the consumer price index, according to the state Department of Labor and Industries.

Final votes to decide Sea-Tac minimum wage issue

SEATAC, Wash. — Remaining ballots will determine a measure that would raise the minimum wage to $15-an-hour for many workers in SeaTac, home of the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Seattle mayor would support minimum wage above $15

SEATTLE — The idea of a $15 minimum wage continues to build momentum in the Seattle area, with Mayor Mike McGinn saying he would support an effort to set the standard even higher.

Low wages may be good for business, but who else?

Occasionally, we hear from the business community about the wonders of the business climate in Idaho. Usually, though, those praising the Gem State’s business-friendliness don’t point out that one of the reasons is this: Employees are paid less – and in some cases a lot less – than most employees elsewhere.

Activists kick off initiative to raise Idaho minimum wage

As a health teacher at Lakes Middle School in Coeur d’Alene, Warren Ducote saw firsthand the effect of poverty on students’ emotional and physical well-being. “You see the depression, the anger that’s built up inside, the kids acting up and being unable to focus on school,” Ducote said.

Spin Control: Late-session inanity comes from both sides

OLYMPIA – As the Legislature passed the halfway mark in the 2013 session last week, some members started to show signs of too much time in the damp, gray environs of the South Puget Sound. Or maybe just too much time in close proximity to each other. Whatever the reason, we saw a rise in legislation introduced for no reason other than to make political points.

Idaho leads in percentage of workers paid minimum wage

When it comes to paying workers as little as possible, Idaho ranks first in the nation. The state has the highest percentage of minimum-wage workers of any state, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics.

Senate panel hears training wage bill

OLYMPIA – Washington state has the highest state minimum wage in the nation, but a new bill being considered by lawmakers would allow some employers to pay a lower “training wage” to new employees for a certain period of time. The measure heard before the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee on Wednesday would establish a special training certificate for employers with fewer than 50 employees. The certificate would allow them to pay new employees 75 percent of the minimum wage during a training period to last no longer than 680 hours. Washington state’s minimum wage increased by 15 cents this month to $9.19 per hour.