What is a Living Wage in Hawaii?

The current minimum wage in Hawaii is $10.10 an hour, or $21,000 per year for full-time work. Everyone who lives here knows that’s not enough to make ends meet in the highest cost-of-living state in the nation. Turns out even DBEDT’s $17 an hour is low by most standards.

Failure To Enact A Living Wage Will Hurt Businesses

Business groups like to talk about personal responsibility. Why then do they cling so tenaciously to the idea that taxpayers and the state must subsidize the cost of labor, and pay for the fallout from poverty and growing houselessness? The current state of things is untenable. As lawmakers we have exactly one tool that will lift hundreds of thousands out of poverty: enact a living wage. It is unconscionable to not do so.

A living wage supports mental health

A living wage is an investment that pays off. Being able to cover our basic physiological and security needs is the basis for mental health. To enact a living wage is to invest in the mental and physical well-being of those who work hard to keep our economy going. It is an investment in the health of the community to which we all belong. It is also an expression of our responsibility to look out for each other.

Guarantee of living wage would help our communities thrive

The need for a living wage is pressing. More than two decades as the CEO of AlohaCare has made me very familiar with the needs of the most vulnerable in Hawaii. Since retiring two years ago, my seat on the board of PHOCUSED has allowed me to clearly see, through our community partner organizations, the challenges posed by poverty among children, kupuna, those with special needs, and low-income workers.

Hawaii Democrats should raise minimum wage significantly

This year, voters will have a unique opportunity to tell the difference between true Democrats and Republicrats because there have been several bills introduced to raise Hawaii’s minimum wage. Democrats will support these bills, but Republicrats will attempt to sink these bills by claiming the increases are too large or too small to approve.

Hawaii needs higher minimum wage

I’ve spent 45 years in corporate America with operations in Hawaii, and have had the pleasure of working with both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. I’ve witnessed employees who work two and three jobs to make ends meet. Given this, and the reasons for the qualified workforce shortage, it’s mind-boggling why employers in Hawaii put up resistance to increasing the minimum wage. Homelessness is a symptom of all of this. Isn’t now the time to do right by all the people?