"Done!" Governor Neil Abercrombie exclaimed as he signed bill 2609 into law Friday morning.
With his stroke of the pen, the minimum wage in Hawaii will increase from its current rate of $7.25/hour up to $10.10/hour on January 1, 2018. The tip credit for tipped employees will also increase the next two years.
"I'm very pleased for those who, of course, work every day, work hard, and have to struggle just to make their basic obligations" the governor said afterwards.
The last time the minimum wage was increased was January 1, 2007. Critics have said a raise to the minimum wage will hurt business owners and the economy. Supporters claim the opposite.
"Every dollar we increase the minimum wage results in 2800 dollars in additional spending by that working family" said State Rep. Mark Nakashima, citing a study on the subject.
"As this money comes to them, it'll come right back into the economy, and will help spur the economy" added Governor Abercrombie.
State Senator Clayton Hee, who fought hard for the bill, said it will help those who need it most.
"Minimum wage helps to boost the very poor, and give some chance".
The raises will be as follows:
- 1/1/2015 $7.75/hour
- 1/1/2016 $8.50/hour
- 1/1/2017 $9.25/hour
- 1/1/2018 $10.10/hour