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Measure to raise Hawaii’s minimum wage to $18 an hour gets legislative approval

In a big win for low-wage workers, House and Senate lawmakers approved a measure Friday to raise Hawaii’s minimum wage from $10.10 an hour to $18 by 2028.
Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 9:33 AM HST|Updated: Apr. 29, 2022 at 4:13 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In a big win for low-wage workers, House and Senate lawmakers approved a measure Friday to raise Hawaii’s minimum wage from $10.10 an hour to $18 by 2028.

The conference committee vote to approve was unanimous, although state Rep. Val Okimoto voted with reservations because of the wage tip credit.

Under the measure, the minimum wage will:

  • Go up to $12 by this October;
  • Rise to $14 in 2024;
  • Be $16 in 2026;
  • And then $18 by 2028.

The Senate version of the bill would have gotten to $18 an hour earlier.

But advocates say they’re happy to have made progress.

“Although the senate didn’t get what they want, this was better than getting nothing at all, which is what has happened the last four years ago,” said Nate Hix, director of Living Wage Hawaii.

“Working families are going to be getting a huge boost in income, which is well overdue.”

The tip credit will also rise from 75 cents per hour to $1.50 per hour by 2028.

The current minimum wage in Hawaii has been the same for four years. Among states, Massachusetts currently has the highest minimum wage of $14.25 per hour.

The minimum wage bill will go up for a final vote Tuesday before heading to the governor’s desk.

The argument against the minimum wage hike was that it would hit small businesses hard. But supporters said paying people more will allow them to put more money back into the economy.

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