The State Senate and the Governor both are supporting SB2018, increasing the minimum wage in Hawaii to $18 per hour in 2026, phased in starting this October.
Only the approval of Speaker of the House Scott Saiki is needed, and Hawai’i minimum wage workers will finally gain an increase they’ve been waiting 4 years for.
If Speaker Saiki encourages the House majority to support, SB2018 it will pass, and if not it could very well leave Hawai’i workers once again, twisting in the wind.
Thus the urgent importance and need for you to send an email to two people, TODAY:
1) Speaker Scott Saiki – repsaiki@Capitol.hawaii.gov
2) Your own district House Representative – Here is a complete list of all Representatives and their contact information. If you are not sure who your district Representative is, type in your address into this nifty little online service and it will tell you.
The core message to both Speaker Saiki and your district Representative is simple: Pass the bill. No amendments, no changes, no delays – just pass SB2018 now. Please.
**In addition, please ask your district Representative: “If SB2018, as it’s now written, were scheduled for a vote in the House, would you vote in support?”
24 out of 25 Senators have already voted in support. Governor Ige has testified also in support.
So it’s a fair question to ask your district Representative. Would they also support SB2018 as it’s now written if given the opportunity to vote on it?
Speaker Saiki has said repeatedly that he supports an $18 minimum wage but now he’s saying that he wants to delay implementation until 2030. SB2018 says $18 by 2026.
Increasing the minimum wage gradually to achieve $18 by 2026 provides businesses with enough time to adjust and adapt. Delaying the increase as Speaker Saiki is proposing until 2030 is unnecessary and will hurt workers.
The Senate and the Governor both say $18 by 2026 is the answer. Please ask Speaker Saiki to agree and also support SB2018.
To those who fear that the minimum wage will cause economic disruption, the research shows this fear is clearly misplaced. Yes, the cost of a plate lunch will go up from $10 to $10.60 in 2026. However the research is clear that minimum wage increases also push up wages in the middle faster than prices increase, so all workers will be better off when the minimum is increased.
Experience shows that when the minimum wage was increased here in the past, there was no increase in worker layoffs, no increase in bankruptcy, and price increases attributed to the minimum wage increase were negligible. In fact, only good things happened, workers made more money and they spent more money – fueling increased business activity.
So please send those two emails today, certainly by Friday, February 4th if at all possible. It’s critically important that Speaker Saiki and your district Representative, both know that the passage of SB2018 without any changes or further amendments is important to you.
It’s also important of course that you know clearly where they stand on the issue. If SB2018 as it’s now written, comes before them for a vote, will they vote in support?
Thank you in advance for joining with me and many others in helping to raise the standard of living for working families throughout all Hawai’i.
Pono Hawaii Initiative
Inside baseball note: SB2018 has passed over from the Senate to the House in a draft that is strong, simple to understand, and “clean”, thus it is ready to pass into law. The bill as passed over needs only the House’s approval. If the House makes any change or amendment whatsoever, the bill then must go back to the Senate for further approval and possibly end up in a “conference committee” where the process is conducted behind closed doors.
The risk of further delays, weakening or killing SB2018, without accountability increases substantially should the House change or amend it, thus sending it back to the Senate and possibly the conference committee process.
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