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Minimum Wage: 5 Noteworthy Quotes in Heated Debate About Idaho's Minimum Wage

By    |   Thursday, 07 Jan 2016 07:43 PM

Only requiring employers to pay the federal minimum wage, Idaho's lowest paid hourly workers will only earn a little over $15,000 per year if they work full time and do not take vacation. This amount is still less than the hourly wage necessary to live in any sort of comfort and stability.

Idaho's living wage is calculated at $9.59 per hour, which is more than $2 above Idaho's minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, according to a Massachusetts Institute of Technology living wage calculator. And with some 7.1 percent of workers only earning minimum wage in Idaho (the second highest in the nation), the debate over raising the minimum wage has been heated.

Urgent: Do You Think the Minimum Wage Should Be Raised?

Here are five noteworthy quotes about Idaho's minimum wage — including one from the CEO of Internet Truckstop Group, an Idaho-based company that announced in 2015 it was raising its minimum wage to $15 per hour to bring it more in line with the cost of living in the Gem State.

1. "We want our employees to be happy. We don’t want them to have to worry about making ends meet. We want to reward the folks who made us as successful as we are ... We (also) expect it will give us a bigger pool of people to pull from for new hires.”
– Internet Truckstop Group CEO Scott Moscrip, speaking to the Idaho Statesman

2. "Slow, calculated advancing of the minimum wage isn't going to cause that small business owner to lay off employees. … The minimum wage was never intended to be the living wage ... They're two different numbers. I see the minimum wage as being a worker protection."
– Idaho State Rep. Mat Erpelding, D-Boise, speaking to Boise Weekly about a bill he sponsored to raise the state's minimum wage

3. "It is absolutely critical for working families in Idaho that this minimum wage bill has a public hearing. Hardworking Idahoans who are trying to survive on poverty wages deserve to have their stories heard by their elected representatives."
– Idaho AFL-CIO president Aaron White to Boise Weekly about the Idaho Legislature's minimum wage debate

4. "As inflation drives up costs of groceries, mortgages, medical expenses, car repair expenses coupled with the vast majority of other Idaho citizens getting a raise, it is equal to a cut in pay per year to work for the Idaho state.
– Department of Health & Welfare worker Jason Bradfish on his salary to a committee on Change in Employee Compensation, The Spokesman-Review reported

Vote Now: How Do You Feel About the Minimum Wage?

5. "The best evidence suggests that a higher minimum wage is ineffective at reducing poverty, and carries with it unintended consequences for the people it’s meant to help. ... Service industry businesses have low margins and price-sensitive customers. When their labor costs increase, they’re forced to respond by reducing costs elsewhere."
– Michael Saltsman, an economist and director of the Employee Policies Institute, on raising the minimum age, according to IdahoWatchdog.org

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Only requiring employers to pay the federal minimum wage, Idaho's lowest paid hourly workers will only earn a little over $15,000 per year if they work full time and do not take vacation. This amount is still less than the hourly wage necessary to live in any sort of comfort and stability.
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2016-43-07
Thursday, 07 Jan 2016 07:43 PM
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