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Minimum wage increase falters as legislative deadline passes

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 06:56 p.m. HST, Apr 26, 2013

Lawmakers failed today to reach a compromise on a proposal for a minimum wage increase before a self-imposed 6 p.m. deadline.

"It's a damn shame," Sen. Clayton Hee, chairman of Senate Judiciary and Labor, said after the conference committee ended with no agreement.

The state's minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Lawmakers disagreed on the size of an increase and how long to take to phase it in as well as on the amount of the tip credit for service employees making less than the minimum wage.

The Senate had proposed an increase of $2 phased in over three years, with adjustments in subsequent years tied to the consumer price index for urban wage earners and clerical workers. The latest House proposal would have increased the minimum wage $1.75 over four years.

Supporters of the increase say it is time to help those earning the least in a state with the highest cost of living in the country. Businesses remain wary of too great an increase in a sluggish economy.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie, in his State of the State address in January, proposed an increase of $1.50.

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If you don't have an education, you just "suck wind". A lot of these minimum wage position are "slave drivers", they work and work and doesn't get any "benny's". I'm also thinking of those getting out of prison and would like to get some kind of start in life. Hey, there are prisoners who saw the light and would like to be an asset to society. They do need a fighting chance, at least, until they can get back on their feet.
on April 26,2013 | 07:10PM
MynaBird1 wrote:
State legislators, can't agree on a minimum wage increase. But able to ensure their own 25% pay raise.
on April 26,2013 | 07:17PM
marilynblee wrote:
on April 26,2013 | 08:06PM
bumba wrote:
Weak. Unbelievable. Oh wait, the minimum wage earners aren't as important as the Mayor, department heads, CEO's, etc. What was I thinking???????
on April 26,2013 | 08:13PM
FACE wrote:
I am pretty angry about this. I never thought I'd see the leaders of the Senate just turn their back on so many people in our state. I appreciate Clayton Hee's work though sorry as well as the Governor being willing to put it out there.
on April 26,2013 | 08:24PM
ISCREAM wrote:
You obviously have no clue...how many people did the legislature turn their back on...the fact is that there are over 321,000 hourly wage employees in Hawaii of which approximately 15,000 make minimum wage or less....and 60% of the 15K work in restaurants where tips put them way over minimum wage...that leaves about 7500...with 90% being teenagers. Less than 1% of the 15K are trying to feed a family on minimum wage....that is less than 150...please read the minimum wage statistics provided by the Bureau of Labor before you go off being mad...
on April 27,2013 | 12:45AM
b00gedy wrote:
This shouldn't have even been an issue... $2 over three years? How's about $2 starting the day the law is enacted? I don't know who the hell lives on minimum wage in this state, but its a shame more people aren't speaking up for them.
on April 26,2013 | 08:32PM
Mana07 wrote:
So all of you on this forum that believe this is a shame or it is SAD! or it is weak and unbelievable. Just who in the hell do you think was going to pay for this? You? Me? The business owner (which translates to you and me)? Or maybe since this is about a 25% raise over three years the business owners can fire 25% of their employees over the next three years to pay for this handout. Rarely and I pleased with anything that the Hawai'i lawmakers do...I must say YES to this!!
on April 26,2013 | 09:02PM
Wotboddahyou wrote:
Most minimum wage earners are NOT head of household type people. They are usually young and unskilled with nothing to bring to the employer. The employer has to use their resources to train what are essentially novice workers. These type of people are usually not worth the minimum wage. Once they meet a minimum level of competence they will start to earn more. As they become more valuable to the employer they will earn even more. I would love to hire more high school people to work in my small business. The problem is I refuse to pay someone $8 per hour when they don't even know how to file or how to answer the phone. It is easy for all the bleeding hearts out there who don't have to meet a payroll to say what's 2 or 3 dollars an hour. But for the small business it can make or break them. If not for the minimum wage, you'd see a lot more jobs for the unskilled who could then parlay it into a higher wage position. As usual, the liberals have this all backwards.
on April 26,2013 | 09:31PM
IAmSane wrote:
on April 26,2013 | 11:09PM
Grimbold wrote:
No minimum wage needed, ok? But we need a maximum wage of $200 for anybody, especially lawyers, doctors and the likes, so live will be affordable for the common person.
on April 26,2013 | 10:27PM
9ronboz wrote:
Increase for what? For performance and accountability I can go for it. Take the same labor force and is the govt going to guarantee my business the increase in business!?
on April 26,2013 | 11:49PM
ISCREAM wrote:
Yeah...how about a guaranteed minimum profit law that guarantees the success of ever business...
on April 27,2013 | 12:46AM
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