Thursday, January 27, 2022


The Indiana House passes a controversial bill barring schools from teaching about Critical Race Theory, and President Biden pledges to place a Black woman on the Supreme Court for the first time.


Justice Stephen Breyer formally announces his retirement, the Dept. of Education will help students who fell behind during the pandemic, and Ariz. lawmakers consider a bill granting them control over elections.


Free COVID tests by mail but some rural Americans need to go the extra mile; farmer storytellers join national campaign to battle corporate consolidation; specialty nurses want more authority; and rare bat gets credit for the mythic margarita.

Idaho, Like Biden Administration, Could Bump Up Minimum Wage


Friday, February 5, 2021   

BOISE, Idaho - As the Biden administration pushes to raise the minimum wage as part of novel coronavirus relief legislation, a bill in the Idaho Legislature also seeks to raise wages.

State Senator Grant Burgoyne - D-Boise - has introduced Senate Bill 1028, which would raise the state's minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 per hour by July 2023 - two years before the proposed federal legislation.

Burgoyne said many Idahoans are struggling to afford food, health care, and housing.

"The safety net has holes in it," said Burgoyne. "And the safety net does not do an adequate job of allowing someone to make a living that can support a family."

Opponents of the bill say it would hurt small businesses, leading them to cut jobs and passing the cost of the increased wage onto consumers.

Twenty-nine states have minimum wages above the federal minimum of $7.25.

Burgoyne's legislation eliminates the so-called "training wage" - a lower hourly rate often paid to students and young people. He said postsecondary education is too expensive to justify this.

He also noted that many companies have done well during the COVID-19 crisis.

"Where we see the very wealthy captains of industry having doubled and tripled their wealth through this pandemic," said Burgoyne, "it seems fair that we should bring along those who struggle in lower-paying jobs as well."

The bill still includes lower pay for tipped workers, but would increase their wages from $3.35 to $7.50 by 2023.

Burgoyne said the Legislature could provide a solution for businesses that show they'd be negatively affected by raising the minimum wage. He proposed giving them a tax credit to offset the cost.

"By giving that credit, those businesses would be held harmless," said Burgoyne. "But the workers would be in a position to be able to be able to make more money."

Burgoyne's bill currently is in the Senate Committee on State Affairs. He said he's hopeful it will gain traction if Congress moves to increase the minimum wage at the federal level.

get more stories like this via email

Under a new proposal, California employees could use up to three days of paid sick leave to get and recover from a COVID vaccination. (Mangostar/Adobestock)

Social Issues

Parents' rights groups are praising a plan to extend paid sick leave for many California workers, which is now on a fast track to pass. Gov…

Social Issues

Changes to a student-loan program for public-service employees is transforming the lives of Montanans who had their debts forgiven. In October…

Health and Wellness

When the Pueblo Community Health Center opened its 14,000 square-foot facility in 2003, Pueblo's east side, home to mostly minority residents…

By 2035, there are projected to be more than 1.2 million older adults living in Minnesota (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Minnesota is building on efforts to meet the needs of its growing population of older adults, now becoming the 10th state to join AARP's network of …

Social Issues

The past year saw American workers reassessing their jobs. However, those shifts did not result in higher union membership at the national level…

Those calling for permanent universal free school meals say research has linked them to better academic outcomes. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This summer, a key initiative to boost school meal access during the pandemic will expire. In North Dakota, those working at the community level say …


New research suggests Earth's Sixth Mass Extinction event, on par with the one that ended the age of dinosaurs, already is under way. Noah Greenwald…

Social Issues

As local municipalities consider ways to use an influx of funds from the American Rescue Plan, some communities see it as an opportunity to support …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021