Maui News

Hawaiʻi legislature advances minimum wage hike to $18 by 2028

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Maui residents join in statewide sign-waving in support of minimum wage increase and Earned Income Tax Credit. (4.27.22) PC: Kehaulani Cerizo

A conference committee voted Friday to advance a minimum wage bill that incrementally increases the minimum wage to $18 by 2028.

Lawmakers reached a compromise on the bill, which is less aggressive than the increase sought by the Senate. A previous version of the bill that passed through the Senate in early April had advocated for $18 two years sooner by 2026.

HB2510 HD2 SD1 would raise Hawaiʻi’s minimum wage to $12 an hour in October 2022; and then to $14 an hour in 2024; $16 an hour in 2026; and finally $18 an hour in 2028. The measure would also make permanent a refundable earned income tax credit and incrementally increase the State’s tip credit.

“While we are disappointed that the Senate’s version of the measure was not included in the final conference draft, I am pleased that we will at least be able to start providing wageincreases to workers across the State beginning on Oct. 1, 2022,” said Senator Brian Taniguchi (District 11 – Mānoa, Makiki, Punchbowl and Papakolea), chair of the Senate Committee on Labor, Culture and the Arts. “Coming to a compromise on an issue of this magnitude is not easy and we recognize that this is not a perfect bill. But given the circumstances, we did the best that we could.”

“While we didn’t get everything we wanted in the bill, the Senate recognized that the only way to ensure wage increases this session was to compromise with our House colleagues on the bill’s final language,” said Senate President Kouchi in a press release update. “Recognizing that not everyone will be happy with this outcome, I want the people of Hawaiʻi to know that the Senate will continue to work tirelessly to address issues related to the minimum wage and the cost of living.”

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HB2510 HD2 SD1 CD1 now heads to the floor of both chambers for a final floor vote before being transmitted to the Governor for his consideration.

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The Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi hail the advance saying, “Hawaiʻi’s minimum wage has been too low for far too long, and this bill gives hope to the many hard-working families struggling to get by in the islands. No one who works full time here in Hawaiʻi should have to raise a family in poverty, and this is a step in the right direction.”

Tyler Dos Santos-Tam, Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawai’i said, “I want to applaud our legislators for taking this bold step, and thank our members and activists for their steadfast work over several legislative sessions to make this happen.”

Advocates say an $18 minimum wage, translates to $16,000 more in annual earnings for minimum wage workers.  Hawaiʻi minimum wage of $10.10 has not increased since 2014.

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