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S-R: New Initiative Attempts to Put Issue of Minimum-Wage Before Idaho Voters

The group, which gathered June 9 in Coeur d'Alene Riverstone Park, consider Idaho's minimum wage "a moral issue that needs to be handled by voters rather than the Legislature."

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A weekend event in North Idaho kicked off a new initiative to boost the Gem State's minimum wage, currently hugging the federal minimum of $7.25. Proponents want to see Idaho's minimum wage at $9.80 within four years.

The Spokesman-Review's Betsy Russell reports that the group, which gathered June 9 in Coeur d'Alene Riverstone Park, consider Idaho's minimum wage "a moral issue that needs to be handled by voters rather than the Legislature." As a result, the event, attended by religious, education and community activists, was the kick-off of a voter initiative. The group hopes to garner 84,000 signatures to put the issue on a statewide ballot in the 2014 election.

The group filed its initiative before a new law goes into effect, beginning next month, that will require any statewide initiative to secure signatures from 6 percent of registered voters in a majority of the state's legislative districts, instead of 6 percent of registered voters statewide.

"It's time Idaho entered the 21st century fully," Dave Eubanks, a member of the Coeur d'Alene School Board told the Spokesman-Review.