Hawaii looks to become the third state to pass a $10.10 per hour minimum wage, following in the steps of Connecticut and Maryland. Legislators reached a deal on Friday on a bill that would phase in the higher wage by 2018. A final vote on the bill should come Tuesday, and Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) has expressed support for the bill. While the U.S. Senate is set to vote on a minimum wage increase as soon as this week, prospects remain less likely that a bill will even be voted on in the Republican-controlled U.S. House.
Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project, commented on the growing trend of states increasing their minimum wage:
There's one reason why Hawaii, Connecticut, Maryland and other states throughout the country are raising the minimum wage to $10.10—because Congress hasn't. The fact that a groundswell of states and cities are now taking action to boost pay for low-wage workers underscores the urgent need for Congress to follow suit and pass a long-overdue increase in the federal minimum wage.
I commend our legislators for advancing the proposal to raise Hawaii’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. 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.