BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - The group Raise Idaho is looking to get help from union organizations and advocacy to gather signatures for an initiative to get on the 2014 ballot. The measure would raise the minimum wage in the state to $9.80 an hour by 2017.
The group still needs to get 53,751 signatures from registered voters by the April 30th deadline. Although they claim to already have one ninth of the signatures needed.
On Wednesday the minimum wage already went up in Washington, Oregon, and Montana. Idaho has the most minimum wage workers per capita in the country. The state is the same as the federal minimum wage which is $7.25 an hour. The measure would also raise the wage for tipped workers to $5.90 an hour.
Some who we talked with who work at, or just above minimum wage say they would like to see it raised because they claim $7.25 an hour is too little for even one person to live on.
"I have to drive to downtown Boise like five days a week so it's kind of nice if I could make some more money for gas money," said Sidney Slighter of Kuna. "Especially because I do have a social life it's nice to do other things as well and I would like not having to live paycheck to paycheck."
Retail and restaurant groups said the market already adequately sets wages for the area. Roaring Springs says it's already studied what the effects would be if the state minimum wage went to just $9 an hour. They said it would cost them an extra $200,000 in extra labor cost at each of their parks.
Others residents we talked with also worry that the higher wages they currently work at wouldn't go up the same amount as minimum wage workers.