Hawaii's state legislature has officially passed the bill after working against a looming deadline.
House and senate members debated back and forth on the best process to raise the minimum wage rate currently set at $7.25 to $10.10. The increase will occur over a four-year period:
- 2015 - $7.75
- 2016 - $8.50
- 2017 - $9.25
- 2018 - $10.10
"Even at $10.10, that's the minimum wage. The gross income earning is $21,000 in a state where the median income price of a house is $385,000," said Sen. Clayton Hee.
The senate originally wanted the increase to occur over a three-year period, but settled with the House over a four-year incremental increase.
Experts say a person with no spouse or children would need to earn nearly $13 per hour for a "living wage."
The bill will now go to the desk of Gov. Neil Abercrombie who showed support while recognizing legislators for passing the bill.
“I commend our legislators for advancing the proposal to raise Hawaii’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour," said Abercrombie. “It is imperative to provide our lowest paid workers with the economic stability and security they deserve....I look forward to working with the legislature to bring fairness to the people of Hawaii."
Abercrombie wanted to increase the rate at least to $8.75 and supported a bill last year that failed. Lawmakers said they could not agree on how much to increase the 25 cent tip credit; the amount businesses deduct every hour from those who earn tips.
We will have more details on the bill on KITV4 at 10.