LIHU‘E — The state House of Representatives on Tuesday weakened further a proposal from the Senate to increase the Hawai‘i’s minimum wage, delaying full implementation to Jan. 1, 2017, and reducing the increase to $9.
Senate Bill 331 originally proposed to increase Hawai‘i’s minimum wages — currently at $7.25 — to $8.25 by July 1, and then to $8.75 by July 1, 2014.
After going through two Senate committees in February, the first increase was delayed to Jan. 1, 2014, and the second to Jan. 1. 2015. But the Senate added a third one to $9.25 starting Jan. 1, 2016.
After that, the minimum wage would have been adjusted annually based on Honolulu’s Consumer Price Index.
The Senate approved and sent this last version to the House on March 5.
On Tuesday, the House Labor and Public Employment Committee unanimously passed a softer version of the bill.
SB 331 in its current form would increase Hawai‘i’s minimum wage to $7.75 on Jan. 1, 2014; to $8.25 on Jan. 1, 2015; to $8.75 on Jan. 1, 2016; and finally to $9 on Jan. 1, 2017.
The bill also lost the CPI calculation, and kept a provision that allows employers to pay less than the minimum wage to tipped workers, although there is no amount set yet.
Restaurant owners are asking for an increase in the current 25-cent credit.
The bill now goes to the House Finance Committee.