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Hawaii State House Leaders Shelve Bill to Raise Minimum Wage

Charles Krupa/AP

Hawaii state House leaders have resisted union pressure to revive bills that would raise the minimum wage and exempt unemployment benefits from state income taxes.

House Majority Leader Della Au Belatti said the chamber would not take up the measures this year, citing budgetary concerns, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Friday.

The bill would have raised the minimum wage from $10.10 to $12 an hour starting July 1, 2022.

Another bill would have exempted jobless benefits from Hawaii's income tax.

Both bills passed the Senate last month but stalled in the House when the Labor and Tourism Committee did not schedule them for hearings.

Labor unions have recently called on the House to take action on the bills, bypass committee hearings and bring the measures to a full vote on the floor.

“Hawaii’s working families are suffering and they need immediate and lasting relief,” labor leaders wrote in a letter this week that was sent to all House members. The letter was signed by the Hawaii Ironworkers Stabilization Fund, Hawaii Iron Workers Local 625, Hawaii Teamsters and Allied Workers Local 996, IATSE Mixed Local 665, ILWU Local 142, Unite Here! Local 5 and United Food and Commercial Workers Local 480.

Belatti said the House will work on the bill after the session ends this month and take it back up in January.

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