Wed, Jun 22, 2022 2:35 PM
By Kim Jarrett, The Center Square
Gov. David Ige signed a bill Wednesday that will increase the state's minimum wage to $18 an hour by Jan. 1, 2028.
The governor also signed a one-time tax rebate for Hawaii taxpayers.
"I do believe that the measures that we're signing today can make a significant impact and help families in a tangible way, especially our working families," Ige said.
House Bill 2510 increases the minimum wage from $10.10 an hour to $12 an hour on Oct. 1. It will increase to $15 an hour on Jan. 1, 2024; $16 an hour on Jan. 1, 2026, and $18 an hour on Jan. 1, 2028.
"I do believe that this phase-in for increasing the minimum wage is long overdue," Ige said.
The bill faced opposition, including the Hawaii Restaurant Association.
"The restaurant industry has to be one of the hardest hit by the Covid pandemic since April 2020 and we have yet to recover.," the association said in written testimony to the Senate Ways and Means Committee. "We feel that it will take us until the later part of 2022 for our economy to stabilize, provided that we do not face another Covid variant.
Ige also signed Senate Bill 514, which provides a $300 for each qualified exemption to individual taxpayers earning less than $100,000 and couples earning $200,000. Taxpayers earning more than $100,000 and couples earning more than $200,000 would receive $100 for each qualified exemption.
"Together, these changes could give a family of four an additional $30,000 in income," House Speaker Scott Saiki said.