East Hawaii News

Obama Unsuccessful in Urging Senate to Follow Hawaii’s Lead

April 30, 2014, 2:37 PM HST
* Updated May 23, 12:14 PM
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President Obama this morning urged Senate Republicans to follow Hawaii’s lead in raising the minimum wage.

“The Hawaii Legislature did the right thing for their workers by taking action to increase their state’s minimum wage to $10.10,” Obama said in a statement issued today by the White House.

“Hawaii joins a large and growing coalition of states, cities, counties and businesses that have given their citizens and employees the raise they deserve,” Obama said.

“This important step in Hawaii is yet another sign that the American people support raising the minimum wage, and I urge Republicans in Congress to follow Hawaii’s lead and lift wages for 28 million Americans.”

However, the effort failed to sway GOP lawmakers, as a vote today to override a Republican filibuster fell six votes short of the 60-vote supermajority needed to advance the bill.

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All but one Senate Republican voted against the bill which would have raised the minimum wage nationally to $10.10 per hour.

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The outcome was different but the pattern was the same in the bill raising Hawaii’s minimum wage approved this week at the state Legislature, where the only negative votes were cast by Republicans Sen. Sam Slom and Rep. Bob McDermott.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has indicated he intends to sign the bill which would raise the state’s minimum wage to $7.75 per hour beginning Jan. 1, 2015, followed by annual increases to $8.50, $9.25 and finally to $10.10 per hour on Jan. 1, 2018.

Hawaii’s current minimum wage of $7.25 was set in 2007.

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