By ANITA HOFSCHNEIDER
HONOLULU (AP) - The Hawaii state Senate has approved a proposal to raise the state minimum wage.
The bill would gradually increase minimum wage to $9.25 in two years and fix the wage to the consumer price index starting in 2016.
The bill now goes to the House, which is also voting Tuesday on a proposal to raise the minimum wage. The House proposal is rolled into a larger bill that deals with unemployment benefits.
Proponents say the bill would help Hawaii residents keep up with the rising cost of living.
Senate Minority Leader Sam Slom voted against the initiative. He says that raising the minimum wage increases unemployment.
Sen. Malama Solomon supported the measure but says she is concerned about fixing the wage to the consumer price index.