Hawaii lawmakers negotiate minimum wage increase

Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii lawmakers are negotiating a minimum wage increase aimed at helping Hawaii residents grapple with the high cost of living in the islands.

The Democrat-dominated state House and Senate have both said they want to raise the wage. But lawmakers have disagreed about how fast the wage should rise and whether it should be tied to the consumer price index.

A group of House and Senate negotiators met Wednesday to discuss the proposal. They decided to postpone voting until Thursday because they are still waiting for approval from the House and Senate money committees about funding for the bill.

Hawaii's business community has balked at the proposal, saying it would force businesses to cut jobs.

Hawaii's initiative comes as President Barack Obama seeks to raise the federal minimum wage.

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