Submit testimony for SB 1248 by 3 PM on Wednesday, January 30
Late testimony will be accepted up until 3 PM on Thur. Jan. 31 and will still be helpful.
Testimony Content (PLEASE CLICK IN THE BOX BELOW TO MAKE THE LANGUAGE SOUND MORE LIKE YOU AND TELL THE COMMITTEE WHY THIS BILL IS IMPORTANT TO YOU)
Dear Chair Taniguchi, Vice Chair Ihara, and members of the Committee, Mahalo for the opportunity to provide testimony in support of SB 1248, with amendments, to raise Hawaii's minimum wage. Our minimum wage workers earn only $21,008 a year (working full time at $10.10 per hour) while facing the highest cost of living in the nation. For example, a Hawaii minimum wage worker would have to work 109 hours per week just to pay rent for a 1-bedroom apartment. SB 1248 would increase our state's minimum wage to $15 in 5 steps from 2020 to 2024. According to DBEDT, the self-sufficiency income standard for an individual with no keiki in 2016 was $15.84 per hour, which comes out to $17 in 2019. This bill should be improved by continuing to raise the wage to at least $17 per hour. Many hard-working people in Hawai‘i are paid less than even $10.10 an hour because they get tips. Seven other states, including Nevada and all of the West Coast, have eliminated this sub-minimum wage for tipped workers and pay all of their workers the same minimum wage. Hawai‘i should join them, too, with an amendment to eliminate the tip credit. Our minimum wage doesn't automatically adjust for inflation, causing its value to often fall far behind the cost of living. This bill should be amended for Hawaii to join the 18 states that already have added automatic cost of living adjustments to their minimum wages. SB 1248 would also provide small businesses with a $1 per hour tax credit to offset the increases in the minimum wage. Research shows that higher wages are good for businesses, too. Between 2015 and 2018, Hawai‘i's minimum wage increased by 39 percent while our unemployment rate dropped and restaurants hired more servers. That's because higher wages improve worker morale, productivity and loyalty, which saves employers the costs of constantly hiring and training new people. And any extra money paid to minimum wage workers is plowed right back into local businesses, leading to positive ripple effects across our economy. Thank you for your consideration of my testimony in support of SB 1248, with amendments.
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