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State’s Minimum Wage Bill Becomes Law

May 23, 2014, 1:23 PM HST · Updated May 23, 1:30 PM
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Minimum Wage Bill Signing

Gov. Abercrombie signs Senate Bill 2609, establishing the state’s new minimum wage increase.

By Wendy Osher

A bill that raises Hawaiʻi’s minimum wage from the current $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour in 2018, was signed into law today by Governor Neil Abercrombie.

Senate Bill 2609, now Act 82, increases the state’s minimum wage by establishing four incremental increases, starting with a 50 cent increase to $7.75 per hour starting on Jan. 1, 2015.

Additional increases outlined in the measure will raise the state’s minimum wage to $8.50 per hour on Jan. 1, 2016; $9.25 per hour on Jan. 1, 2017; and $10.10 per hour on Jan. 1, 2018.

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The legislation establishes an incremental increase for the state’s tip credit over two year, raising it by 50 cents per hour beginning Jan. 1, 2015 and 75 cents per hour beginning Jan. 1, 2016. This increase can be implemented by an employer, as long as the combined amount the employee receives in wages and tips is at least $7 more than the applicable minimum wage beginning on Jan. 1, 2015.

Photo by Wendy Osher.

Photo by Wendy Osher.

“A hardworking sector of our community has gone seven years without a raise,” said Governor Neil Abercrombie in a press release announcing the new law, saying it provides the state’s lowest paid workers “with the economic stability and security they deserve.”

Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez also commented saying too many Americans fall behind and are living in poverty despite working full time. “Hawaiʻi has taken a step in the right direction to change that by giving workers at the bottom of the income ladder a much-needed boost so that they can better afford the basics like rent and food for their families. And businesses will benefit, too, as that extra income is spent locally on goods and services, ultimately strengthening the bottom line,” said Perez in the announcement.

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