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Economy
The share of Idaho workers earning minimum wage has grown from 5 percent in 2011 to 7.7 percent in 2012. The growth has put Idaho in the top spot for the largest share of minimum wage workers in the country. How did that happen? And what’s being done to reverse the trend?

Idaho Legislative Panel To Hear Minimum Wage Increase Proposal

Michelle Stennett
Emilie Ritter Saunders
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Boise State Public Radio

A plan to put more money in the pockets of Idaho's lowest-paid workers cleared its first hurdle Monday when the Senate State Affairs Committee voted to send it forward to a full hearing.

The proposal would increase the state's minimum hourly pay from $7.25 the federal requirement— to $8.50 July 1, then raise it again to $9.75 in 2015.

But Republicans who control 81 percent of the Legislature immediately criticized the plan, throwing its future into doubt.

Additionally, an activist group behind this bill has abandoned its work on a separate voter initiate that's currently trying to amass enough signatures to get it onto the ballot for next November's election.

United Vision for Idaho's Adrienne Evans says there is not enough time, so it is supporting Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett's bill instead.