Senate Bill: Raise minimum wage to $12 by Oct. 1

January 20, 2022

Workers in Hawaii would see the minimum wage rise to $12 an hour this year, the first minimum wage increase since 2018, under a proposal from the Hawaii Senate.

Senate Bill 2018 would raise the minimum hourly wage to $12 by Oct. 1 before rising to $15 an hour in 2024 and $18 by 2026. The measure could face its first round of hearings in committee in the Senate next week.

Sen. Brian Taniguchi introduced the measure with the support of 20 other senators, including Sen. Kurt Fevella, the only Republican in the chamber. Taniguchi, who is chairman of the Senate Labor, Culture and Arts Committee, also put forward a proposal to raise the minimum wage last year.

Senator Brian Taniguchi, pictured right in 2018, is pushing for a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour by October. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2018

Other proposals to raise the minimum wage include House Bill 1503, which would put it at $12 an hour in 2023 and increase it by $2 a year until 2026. The bill would also repeal the tip credit and tie increases in the minimum wage after 2026 to the increase in the Cost of life.

A proposal from the Maui County Council, House Bill 1440, would also tie the minimum wage to a rate set by the state.

During this time, Senate Bill 2261, proposes the creation of a minimum wage commission, which would make annual recommendations to the Legislative Assembly on any wage increases.

Lawmakers have until Wednesday to introduce bills for this session. The session should end on May 4.

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Norman D. Briggs