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Big Island, Maui Lawmakers Push to Raise Proposed Minimum Wage

By Big Island Now

February 26, 2020

A Big Island senator pledged to donate thousands of dollars of his own salary to charity until lawmakers raise the minimum wage to at least $15.

The pledge comes after Hawai‘i lawmakers passed House Bill 2541 in House Committee on Labor & Public Employment and the Committee on Finance, which increases the minimum wage incrementally to $13 an hour by 2024. The bill now moves to the full House for second reading.

Sen. Russell Ruderman along with Maui Rep. Tina Wildberger (D-Kihei, Wailea, Makena), both small business owners on their islands, believe the bill could do better. The difference between $13 an hour and $15 an hour works out to about $4,000 annually, which would go a long way toward basic necessities.

Until minimum wage is increased to $15, both lawmakers promised to give $4,000 annually as long as they receive a state salary, starting January 2021, when all legislators are scheduled to receive a raise.

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