Obama applauds Hawaii minimum wage hike
HONOLULU (AP) - President Barack Obama is commending Hawaii lawmakers for raising the state's minimum wage to $10.10.
The president says in a statement released Wednesday that Republicans in Congress should follow Hawaii's lead and raise the minimum wage for 28 million Americans. Later Wednesday, U.S. Senate Republicans blocked a bill seeking a federal minimum-wage increase.
The Hawaii measure was approved by legislators Tuesday. Gov. Neil Abercrombie has indicated he will likely approve it.
The increase from $7.25 is the first since 2007 and would be phased in over four years.
Obama says Hawaii joins a large coalition of states, counties, cities and businesses to give individuals a raise.
Obama says it's time "for Republicans in Congress to listen to the majority of Americans who say it's time to give America a raise."
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