KOOTENAI COUNTY DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Kootenai County Democratic Central Committee Passes Resolution Supporting HB 50 and HB 55 Concerning Minimum Wage:

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho – February 26th, 2019 – Recognizing that Kootenai County’s rapidly growing municipalities should have the opportunity to establish a competitive wage to attract quality workers, the Kootenai County Democratic Central Committee (KCDCC) passed a resolution supporting House Bill 50 and House Bill 55.

Idaho’s current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour fails to compete with the State of Washington’s $12.00 per hour minimum wage. Given that Idaho workers pay income taxes and Washington’s worker’s do not, Kootenai County citizens earning minimum wage earn nearly one-half the wages of works less than thirty-miles away in Washington. Kootenai County businesses cannot attract and keep a reliable workforce under these conditions. Therefore, the KCDCC supports House Bill 55 which incrementally increases the minimum wage to $12.00 per hour by 2021, so that Kootenai County can compete for qualified workers.

Prior to 2016, Kootenai County municipalities had the authority to establish a competitive minimum wage. However, in 2016, Kootenai County’s legislative representatives disregarded our residents and businesses and amended I.C. § 44-1502(4) to prevent local communities from increasing the minimum wage. Kootenai County cannot establish a competitive minimum wage due to the irresponsible actions of our Idaho Legislature.

Therefore, the KCDCC supports repealing the state imposed minimum wage mandate of I.C. § 44-1502(4) in order to allow the cities of Kootenai County to raise the local minimum wage and attract and retain quality workers.