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Group Aims to Raise Idaho’s Minimum Wage to $9.80

Benito Baeza

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho group pushing to boost the state’s minimum wage to $9.80 an hour by 2017 says it’s collected one-ninth of the necessary signatures to get the measure before voters in 2014.

However, Raise Idaho’s Anne Nesse says she’s enlisted unions and advocacy organizations and hopes to accelerate signature gathering before the April 30 deadline. By then, she’ll need 53,751 registered voter signatures. As Idaho considers a potential hike from its existing $7.25 an hour, the federal minimum, surrounding states have lifted their minimum wages.

Washington, Oregon and Montana are among 14 states whose minimum wages went up Jan. 1. Idaho has the most minimum-wage jobs, per capita. Meanwhile, Idaho retailer and restaurant groups counter the market is already adequately setting wages. They hope Nesse’s initiative fails.

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