Hawaii workers would see 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 going up to $15 an hour in 2024 and $18 by 2026. The measure could go through its first round of committee hearings in the Senate as early as next week.

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

Senator Chair Brian Taniguchi 130p conference committee meeting with colleague left, Sen Mike Gabbard in room 329.
Sen. Brian Taniguchi, pictured at 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 $2 each year until 2026. The bill would also repeal the tip credit and tie increases in the minimum wage after 2026 to increases in the cost of living.

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

Meanwhile, Senate Bill 2261 proposes the creation of a minimum wage commission, which would make yearly recommendations to the Legislature on any wage increases.

Lawmakers have until Wednesday to file bills for this session, which is expected to end May 4.

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