With Gov. Neil Abercrombie's signature, Hawaii becomes the third blue state to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.
The new law, approved overwhelmingly by Hawaii lawmakers in April, will raise Hawaii’s base wage in stages to reach $10.10 by January 2018 from a current level of $7.25, which is also the federal minimum.
“In today’s world that minimum wage is not a survival wage, certainly not in Hawaii,” Abercrombie said, referencing Hawaii’s high cost of living and rising housing prices.
Democrats headed by President Barack Obama have seized on the issue of raising the base wage of $7.25 as a way of stirring voter enthusiasm heading into mid-term elections in November.
Obama pushed Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 but has failed to win the backing of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
Here's where's Hawaii Democrats are making the biggest difference in people's lives:
Much of the Hawaii wage debate centered on tips. Under the measure, employers of tipped workers making less than $17.10 per hour including tips would have to pay $10.10 per hour. For workers making more than $17.10 per hour, employers can deduct a $.75 tip credit from the hourly wage.
Under the $7.25 hourly rate, the tip credit is currently $.25 per hour for those workers making at least $7.75 an hour.
Considering Hawaii has just about the highest cost of living of any state, this is a long overdue change. Good for Gov. Abercrombie and the Democrats who made this happen.