HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii lawmakers have passed the state's first minimum wage increase since 2007, raising it from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour and phasing in the change over four years.
The measure was approved in the House and the Senate on Tuesday after considerable debate on the potential impacts to families and small business.
"Raising the minimum wage I contend will have a direct, positive impact on Hawaii's families," said Sen. Rosalyn Baker, D-South and West Maui. "Hawaii's women with children are disproportionately represented in low-wage jobs, and they are the ones who will gain the most from an increase in the minimum wage."
The cost of a bag of rice has nearly doubled in the time that has passed since the last minimum wage increase, Baker said.
Employers with tipped employees can get a credit for those workers who earn $7 more per hour than the minimum wage. The tip credit would rise gradually to 75 cents.