Lawmakers Move Closer to Final Decision on Measure to Raise Minimum Wage
Earlier today, a conference committee voted to approve a measure that would incrementally increase the minimum wage to $18 by 2028, make permanent a refundable earned income tax credit (EITC) and incrementally increase the State’s tip credit.
The approved Conference Draft 1 of the Senate bill differs from the previous version that passed through the Senate in early April.
The Senate’s version of the measure included a more aggressive increase of the minimum wage ($18 by 2026) and also reduced the tip credit to 35 cents per hour beginning Oct. 1, 2022, and zero cents per hour beginning Jan. 1, 2026.
“While we are disappointed that the Senate’s version of the measure was not included in the final conference draft, I am pleased that we will at least be able to start providing wage increases to workers across the State beginning on October 1, 2022,” said Senator Brian Taniguchi (District 11 – Mānoa, Makiki, Punchbowl and Papakolea), chair of the Senate Committee on Labor, Culture and the Arts. “Coming to a compromise on an issue of this magnitude is not easy and we recognize that this is not a perfect bill. But given the circumstances, we did the best that we could.”
“While we didn’t get everything we wanted in the bill, the Senate recognized that the only way to ensure wage increases this session was to compromise with our House colleagues on the bill’s final language,” noted Senate President Kouchi. “Recognizing that not everyone will be happy with this outcome, I want the people of Hawaiʻi to know that the Senate will continue to work tirelessly to address issues related to the minimum wage and the cost of living.”
HB2510 HD2 SD1 CD1 now heads to the floor of both chambers for a final floor vote before being transmitted to the Governor for his consideration.