Why not reinvest our state’s surplus and make sure folks can feed their families? We have a state budget surplus that is nearing $139 million. This is a boon for our state as it faces some serious challenges ahead in improving our education system, which according to Education Week is ranked last in the country in financing our schools and repairing our crumbling infrastructure. Yet, lawmakers are proposing (HB67) to cut state revenue more than $50 million through tax breaks that would disproportionately benefit the wealthy and harm those who depend on schools and roads to get where they need to go. It’s short-sighted and potentially harmful.
Our state also needs to raise the minimum wage. United Way found that a single person needs $8.33 an hour to cover their expenses, a family of four needs $23.09 an hour. Our state’s minimum wage is $7.25. House Minority Leader Mat Erpelding has proposed a bill (HB72) that would incrementally increase the minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2019. This would make sure more families can cover the basics and just sounds like good policy.
Angel Gonzalez, Boise