Initiative to raise Idaho minimum wage approved

By Lyndsie Kiebert
Reader Staff

The Idaho Attorney General’s office has approved a ballot initiative that hopes to raise Idaho’s minimum wage.

According to the Idaho Press, the initiative would increase Idaho’s current $7.25 per hour minimum wage to $8.75 on June 1, 2021, to $9.75 a year later, to $10.75 the year after and to $12 an hour on June 1, 2024. Moving forward, the Idaho Press reports the initiative law would require the state’s minimum wage “to be indexed to the consumer price index, and rise when the cost of living rises.” 

The proposed measure would also raise the minimum for tipped workers, eliminate the state’s training wage — $4.25 per hour for the first 90 days of employment for those under 20 years old — and one version of the initiative would allow Idaho counties or cities to set higher minimum wages than mandated by the state.

Deputy Attorney General Douglas A. Werth wrote in his legal analysis of the petition that although Idaho follows the federal minimum wage requirements, there’s no barrier to the state increasing theirs. Werth said there are currently 31 states with minimum wages higher than the federal minimum.

The Idaho Press reports signatures for the minimum wage ballot initiative are due April 30, 2020, in order for the measure to make it onto the November 2020 ballot. The signature requirements remain at 6% of registered voters in 18 of Idaho’s 35 legislative districts, as proposed bills to increase those requirements were not passed during the 2019 legislative session.

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