One thing is for sure: not one Idaho politician who is blocking an increase in the minimum wage is currently living on the minimum wage. That’s a guarantee.
A full-time employee making $7.25 per hour earns $15,080 per year. Look at that figure again — $15,080
Because the wages of lawmakers who are blocking an increase of the minimum wage are not public record, we thought we’d glance at their 2014 election funds.
Here’s what we found.
Sen. Curt McKenzie – $12.52
As the chair of the Senate State Affairs Committee, McKenzie has refused to hold a hearing on minimum wage. In 2014, his election fund earned $26,047. That translates to $12.52 per hour.
Patti Anne Lodge – $17.80
Sen. McKenzie says he doesn’t have the votes in the State Affairs Committee to bother with a hearing. Sen. Lodge is among a bevy of lawmakers that stand in its way. Her reelection fund earned the equivalent of $17.80 per hour.
Bart Davis – $16.15
Sen. Davis is the majority leader in the Senate; however, on the issue of raising the minimum wage, he hasn’t shown much leadership. His campaign fund made $16.15 per hour, even though he didn’t have an opponent in the primary or general election.
Rep. Scott Bedke – $32.64
As House speaker, Bedke controls the Ways and Means committee. And guess what’s hanging out in Ways and Means? That’s right, a minimum wage bill. That’s probably where it’s going to die. It’s hard to imagine Bedke cares much about the working poor when his reelection fund made $32.64 per hour in 2014, even though he didn’t have an opponent in the primary or general election.
Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter – $714.37
Sen. McKenzie said it’s pointless to hold a hearing on the minimum wage bill because, “I don’t think the Governor would sign it if it came to his desk.” And why would he? He’s got his. Also, its pretty unlikely many minimum wage workers contributed to his reelection. At $714.37 per hour, it would take a minimum wage worker two and a haft weeks to match what Otter’s war chest earned in 60 minutes.
Hey, we get it. Winning reelection is important. But it’s mind boggling that any politician collects more money in one year to win an election without an opponent than a minimum-wage worker earns to survive.
What’s more, those same politicians are blocking any attempts to right that wrong.
Why would they care? They’ve got theirs.