President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the U.S. minimum wage 75 years ago today. On June 25, 1938, Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Since the minimum wage was created, it’s been increased federally at least 25 times. At least 18 states have increased the wage above the federal minimum, but not in Idaho.
Idaho’s minimum wage has been at $7.25 since 2009.
As StateImpact has extensively reported, Idaho now has the largest percentage of minimum wage workers in the country. Since 2011, the number of Idaho workers earning the legal minimum has increased by more than 60 percent.
There’s a national push among Democratic lawmakers to raise the federal minimum wage. President Obama said in his 2013 State of the Union address the wage floor should be $9 an hour. Many Republicans have said that would hurt job creation.
Two out of Idaho’s four Congressman don’t support a minimum wage increase. As we reported last month, Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) doesn’t support raising the rate to $9 an hour. A spokesman for Sen. Crapo said a minimum wage increase will put a strain on employers and hinder job growth.
Idaho’s state Legislature also hasn’t shown any interest in raising the minimum wage above the federal floor. That inaction has led to a citizen initiative push. If organizers successfully gather enough signatures, it could be up to Idaho voters to decide if the wage increases here.