There was a boost Friday for workers who make minimum wage.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed a bill that raises the state's minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour over the next four years.
Hawaii now joins an exclusive club, becoming one of a few states to pass a bill that increases the minimum wage above $10.
"I'm very pleased for those who work every day who struggle to make basic obligations," said Abercrombie.
But getting to this point wasn't easy. Lawmakers bumped heads in a lengthy debate, but finally voted in April to raise the state's hourly rates.
"Because most minimum wage earners are second income earners, most minimum wage earners are women," said Sen. Clayton Hee. "Forty percent are homeless and this is the state with the highest cost of living."
"The Reserve Bank of Chicago predicts that for every dollar that we increase the minimum wage results in $2,800 spent by that working family," said Rep. Mark Nakashima.
Abercrombie said the minimum wage increase will spur the economy. The changes will begin next year with a 75-cent increase annually until it reaches $10.10 in 2018.
The increase will affect all workers, including those that earn tips.
Trisha Kajimura is the social policy director for the Catholic Charities of Hawaii. She helps a lot of working families and says raising the minimum wage is a start.
"It's a step in the right direction. I would say it's not an answer to eliminating poverty in Hawaii," said Kajimura. "It will help those families and working folks to survive at a better level