BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Activist groups are throwing their weight behind a Senate bill to hike Idaho's minimum wage after abandoning an effort to gather enough signatures to put a similar measure before voters next November. The bid to put more money in the pockets of Idaho's lowest-paid workers cleared its first hurdle yesterday, when the Senate State Affairs Committee voted to send it forward to a full hearing. Sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett, the proposal would raise hourly pay from $7.25 to $9.75 in 2015. Stennett acknowledged the bill likely won't pass, with Republicans skeptical of mandates on business. The bill comes as a similar voter initiative also seeks to bring up the minimum wage. But with dramatically fewer signatures than needed, hope to secure a ballot spot is also waning.