Minimum Wage Gets Major Raise

Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

Who would’ve expected this!

On Tuesday a bill was passed by the Hawaii legislature increasing the state’s minimum wage to $18 per hour by 2028. The current minimum wage is $10.10.

With the new increase, this would become the highest minimum wage in the country, but there are some states where the minimum wage is increased to reflect the cost of living automatically. Therefore, by 2028 states like California are bound to have a higher minimum wage due to the inflation rates.

The bill passed the state House and Senate, which are under Democratic control. It is now on the Democratic governor, David Ige’s desk as he will need to sign the measure into law.
This legislation, House Bill 2510, will slowly start increasing the minimum wage each year, before reaching the $18 minimum wage in 2028. Those supporting the bill have also spoken about the high cost of living in the state and the necessity for a wage increase. However, some businesses may be forced to cut staff to survive the increase in wages.

State House Speaker Scott Saiki noted that this decision was in part driven by a study that showed 42 percent of Hawaiians were struggling each month to make ends meet.
Another change brought forth by this bill related to income tax is the earned income tax credit is refundable and permanent. This will mean that those low-income workers could potentially receive more from their tax refund. 
Currently, the earned income tax credit is set to each year and it is not refundable. Therefore, low-income households unable to use it are missing out on taking advantage of it.