Minimum wage 10K signatures

Backers of an initiative to raise Idaho’s minimum wage celebrate topping 10,000 signatures on Wednesday in front of the Idaho Capitol. But they need more than 55,000 to make the November 2020 ballot.

Volunteers pushing an initiative to gradually raise Idaho’s $7.25 per hour minimum wage to $12 an hour say they’ve topped 10,000 signatures, just a month after they hit the 5,000 mark. They’ll need more than 55,000 to make the November 2020 ballot. “We’ve got a long way to go, but we feel like we’re off to a great start,” said Rod Couch, head of Idahoans for a Fair Wage. He said the effort has drawn more than 100 volunteers so far.

The group has until April 30, 2020 to gather the necessary signatures from registered Idaho voters, which would comprise 6% of those who were registered to vote in the November 2018 election. In addition, the total would need to include 6% of registered voters in at least 18 of Idaho’s 35 legislative districts. Couch said he’s lined up county volunteer leaders in more than a half dozen counties, including in the Treasure Valley, eastern Idaho and North Idaho.

The initiative would raise Idaho’s minimum to $8.75 an hour on June 1, 2021, then raise it another dollar a year for the next two years, hitting $12 an hour on June 1, 2024.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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