Update: HB2510 Passed! $18 in 2028, increases tip penalty BUT makes permanent refundable EITC – it’s a win but should not have taken 4 years. Mahalo to all for the emails/calls, for standing in hot sun holding signs. Mahalo Kim Coco Iwamoto for holding Speaker Saiki accountable. Imua! more to come in an upcoming post….
This would not have happened without the hundreds of emails and telephone calls that poured into the offices of House Speaker Scott Saiki and Senate President Ron Kouchi – over the past 24 hours. And the thousands that have been made over the past 4 months.
Of this I am sure. Mahalo to all.
At the very last minute, HB2510 SD1 increasing the minimum wage in Hawaii from $10.10 to $18 per hour has been scheduled for 3:01pm today! A copy of the hearing notice with information on how to view the hearing is here: https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2022/hearingnotices/CONF_LAT_04-29-22_2_.HTM
The legislators sitting on the committee are:
House Conferees: Representatives Onishi/Nishimoto, Co-Chairs; Ilagan, Okimoto
Senate Conferees: Senators Taniguchi, Chair; Kidani, Co-Chair; Fevella
What is likely to happen?
I am predicting that the key members of the committee have already met and worked out a deal/compromise. The committee will convene, announce the deal and then adjourn the meeting.
This is common practice for a Conference Committee where historically most/all of the negotiations is done in private – in violation of the Constitution which states in Article III – Section 12: “Every meeting of a committee in either house or of a committee comprised of a member or members of both houses held for the purpose of making a decision on matters referred to the committee shall be open to the public.”
The other possibility is that the committee will simply “gavel in” and the Chairs announce that they still have not reached a decision, and then adjourn until a later time.
Important Note: The House is the main roadblock here. While Big Island Rep. Richard Onishi is Chair of the Labor Committee and theoretically in charge of making decisions for the House – Speaker Scott Saiki represents the Majority and is the person most responsible.
Another option, if they cannot come to an agreement with the Senate in Conference Committee – the House can simply “accept the Senate position”. This can happen instantly with support from Speaker Saiki or action can be taken by House members directly.
So – do not accept statements from individual Representatives that “there is nothing they can do” or “this is up to Rep Onishi” – Individual members can take independent actions contrary to that of the Speaker or the Chair. They simply have to stand up in the House Chamber, make the proper motion, get a second to that motion, and proceed to debate and ultimately vote. A series of motions would need to be made and voted on, but the process is available for individual members to take action on the floor.
If Conference Committee fails, and the Speaker fails to take action, direct action on the floor by individual members will be the only path left for working people to win a long, long overdue increase.
The hearing notice has links to view the hearing, read the bill, see past testimony etc. Unfortunately, the legislature does not allow testimony for Conference Committee hearings. But if you can contact the legislators directly to share your thoughts.
My apology for grammatical or other errors as I am rushing to get this out today. gh