Pointing to the 7.7 percent of the Gem State workforce that struggles to make ends meet while making the current minimum wage in Idaho—$7.25 per hour—an official with the grassroots initiative Raise Idaho says the minimum wage is not only unlivable, but " a disregard of basic human dignity."
Anne Nesse, advocate of a proposed statewide ballot initiative to raise Idaho’s minimum wage, came to the Idaho Statehouse Tuesday, July 23 to meet with the Idaho Secretary of State Chief Deputy, Tim Hurst regarding her effort to get the measure on the November 2013 ballot. Simply put, the proposal would amend Idaho Statute 44-1502 and steadily raise current minimum wage ($7.25) to $9.80 per hour over the next three years.
In order to get the proposition on the ballot, Raise Idaho must secure 53,751 signatures from registered Idaho voters to the Secretary of State’s office by April 30, 2014.
Coincidentally, Wednesday, July 24 is a National Day of Action to raise minimum wages across the country, Nesse told Boise Weekly she hopes to "emphasize the moral and financial benefits" of increasing Idaho’s pay grade.
“If we have a definite law, we can bring up the standard of living, and also raise human dignity,” Nesse told BW.“It’s young families we’re fighting for. If young people can’t keep up, they might think they’re making a big mistake staying in Idaho. The future of a sustainable economy is making sure that young people can stay in state knowing they can find their passion and survive on the pay.”
Nesse said Raise Idaho is asking supporters to volunteer their time to the cause starting Wednesday, Aug. 7. That's when she'll be training volunteers at Boise's Grove Plaza. She said volunteers will thereafter be present during several events including Alive After Five and the Saturday Capital City Public Market.
“Idaho is beautiful on the outside,” said Nesse, “We need to make it beautiful on the inside, too.”