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Minimum Wage: 3 Noteworthy Quotes in Heated Debate About Hawaii's Minimum Wage

By    |   Friday, 29 Jan 2016 02:41 PM

The minimum wage in Hawaii is a hotly debated topic, especially now that the state is in the process of implementing a series of pay hikes that eventually will bring the hourly minimum employers must pay up to $10.10.

The minimum wage in Hawaii currently stands at $7.75, which is well below the hourly rate needed to live with relative comfort anywhere in the state. A living wage calculator created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology calculates a Hawaii resident needs to make at least $9.30 per hour to afford to live in the least expensive parts of the state and up to $14.66 per hour in cities like Honolulu. And this is just for single adults. When children are factored in, the necessary wage to sustain also increases.

Urgent: Do You Think the Minimum Wage Should Be Raised?

Here are three noteworthy quotes about the minimum wage debate in Hawaii:

1. "In today's world that minimum wage is not a survival wage, certainly not in Hawaii."
– Gov. Neil Abercrombie, about the state Legislature passing a gradual minimum wage hike that he signed into law. May 2014.

2. "I am in favor of raises to our workforce to keep up with the cost of living. I am NOT in FAVOR of the TIMING of the raises. The economy in Hawaii is just starting to regain a footing, and we as a business are only now starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. It has been rough! After 7 years of a dire economy, business has picked up in the last 6 months only. Hopeful. But this is hardly cause for celebration as the economy is not yet Strong nor Stable. To impose a raise now would be to set all businesses back to 7 years ago."
– Debra Ching Maiava, of Ken's House of Pancakes, in written testimony to the Hawaii state Legislature regarding the minimum wage increase when being debated in the state Senate. March 2013, Honolulu magazine.

3. "Many entry-level jobs in the retail and food industry are for younger workers who may still be in high school. These younger workers do not need to have their wages increased. If industry is forced to raise these workers pay then they must also raise the pay of all of their employees along the labor chain which results in a huge increase in labor cost for the business and a corresponding increase in the price of the goods that are for sale."
– Hawaii Food Industry Association, also in written testimony to the state Senate. March 2013, Honolulu magazine.

Vote Now: How Do You Feel About the Minimum Wage?

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The minimum wage in Hawaii is a hotly debated topic, especially now that the state is in the process of implementing a series of pay hikes that eventually will bring the hourly minimum employers must pay up to $10.10.
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Friday, 29 Jan 2016 02:41 PM
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