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Bill to raise minimum wage to $18 passes Senate, goes to House

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A measure that would increase Hawaiʻi’s minimum wage from $10.10 an hour to $18 an hour by 2026 has passed the Senate and will now go to the House.

Senate Bill 2018 would incrementally increase the minimum wage over the next five years. The initial increase to $12 an hour would go into effect on Oct. 1, 2022. It would then go up to $15 in 2024 and $18 in 2026.

The Senate voted 24 to 1 in favor of the bill.

Senator Gil Riviere was the lone dissenting vote. Riviere said an increase to $18 within four years was not an appropriate increase, and he would be in favor of a more modest increase.

One group of Hawaiʻi workers is already guaranteed an increase. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management announced that federal civilian employees will be paid at least $15 an hour. That change affects more than 2,800 workers in Hawaiʻi.

The highest statewide minimum wage is currently $15 in California, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Some cities set minimum wages above $15.

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