Effort To Raise Idaho's Minimum Wage Focuses On North Idaho Town

Apr 6, 2015

The Coeur d'Alene Press reports a former lawmaker and minimum wage increase advocate Anne Nesse has submitted paperwork to get a minimum wage increase on the local ballot. Voters may have the chance to raise the local minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $8.75 in 2016, then $10.25 in 2017.

Idaho has one of the lowest minimum wages in the West, and the minimum hasn't changed since 2009. Idaho uses the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

Various campaigns have tried to boost Idaho's minimum, either through the voter-initiative process or through the state Legislature. None have been successful.

Nesse attempted to get a minimum wage increase on Idaho's ballot last year is scaling her efforts to target Coeur d'Alene. A short drive from Coeur d'Alene in Washington state, the minimum wage is $9.47.

Nesse and initiative partner, former North Idaho College President Bob Bennett would need 1,681 signatures to qualify for Coeur d'Alene's Nov. 3 ballot.

"$7.25 tells you that hard work gets you nothing," Nesse told the Coeur d'Alene Press. "Idaho values should be that when you work hard, put in a good day's work, you should at least be able to survive." 

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