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Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie
While Republicans in the United States Senate were preparing to block a bill raising the federal minimum wage, one state's legislature wasn't waiting around. Tuesday, Hawaii's legislature passed a bill increasing the state's minimum wage to $10.10 by 2018, to be signed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie the same day as Republicans blocked a federal increase.

Connecticut and Maryland had already passed $10.10 minimum wage bills this year, while California's minimum wage is rising to $10.00 and Washington, DC's is going to $11.50, both reaching those levels in 2016. Hawaii joins California in one important way. Its bill:

... will apply to tipped workers such as waiters and taxi drivers. Workers who make less than $17.10 an hour including their tips will have to be paid the $10.10 wage plus tips, and the employers of those who make more than that level can deduct a 75 cent tip credit from their wage. By contrast, Maryland’s tipped workers’ minimum wage is still frozen at $3.63 an hour and in Connecticut it will remain at 63.2 percent of the higher wage, rising to $6.38 per hour once $10.10 takes effect. At the federal level, the tipped minimum wage remains at $2.13 an hour, where it has been for two decades.
So a minimum wage that's a living wage is spreading across the country, with millions of workers getting a raise. That's fantastic. But workers in states like Alabama, Texas, Idaho, Pennsylvania, and Iowa also deserve to have a year of full-time work pay above a poverty wage. And for that to happen, Congress needs to act—which means Republicans need to get out of the way.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 10:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Aloha! (8+ / 0-)

    OK, that exhausts my Hawai'ian vocabulary. ;D

    Great news on a day the Senate Republicans decided that what was good enough 1991 is good enough now. Bass turds.

    GOP 2014 strategy -- Hire clowns, elephants, and a ringmaster and say "a media circus" has emerged and blame Democrats for lack of progress. Have pundits agree that "both sides are to blame" and hope the public will stay home on election day.

    by ontheleftcoast on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 10:19:57 AM PDT

  •  they really need it; Hawaii is expensive (3+ / 0-)

    And despite that, tourism/hospitality and agriculture jobs don't pay very well.

    Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

    by Visceral on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 11:03:55 AM PDT

    •  Waiting does, depending on the restaurant (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest

      My wife and I were on Maui in 2011.  Went to dinner at Mama's Fish House.  Had a great meal that ended up at close to $200 including wine.  So that's a $40 tip, not bad for one table.  But there aren't many of those jobs to be had.

      •  I've had friends go to restaurants/bars for tips (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Norm in Chicago, RiveroftheWest

        They're convinced they're going to make hundreds of dollars a night but they never know when they're going to be working, are always strapped for cash, and never have anything good to say about the work itself.

        Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

        by Visceral on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 01:15:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The schedule does suck (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest

          I had an old roommate who waited tables.  He did manage to make good money, but only because he was at a good restaurant and he worked nearly every night.  Brutal scheduling.  And yes, he never did manage to save up any money.  He had massive car problems once and I had to loan him the money since his credit sucked and they were going to charge him 15%.  I just asked for the principal back over a year.

          He moved up to manager as soon as he was able, to get better hours and more reliable pay.

      •  That's a $40 tip from you, (3+ / 0-)

        Norm, and as a tipped worker myself, may the FSM bless you for that.
        But most folks don't tip 20%, most meals don't cost $100 apiece, and most servers aren't doing very well at all.  As you said, there aren't many of those jobs to be had, but I can tell you that there aren't many customers as generous as you either.

        Hey GOP! You'll get my Obamacare when you pry it from my cold, dead hands. And thanks to Obamacare, that just may be awhile.

        by jazzmaniac on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 07:40:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  By 2018? What a joke. (7+ / 0-)

    This is a band aide to stop an amputation. If this is the kind of victory we are going to celebrate than we might as well kiss the mid terms good bye.

    “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

    by Tool on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 01:14:33 PM PDT

    •  I agree . . . but it does head in the right (5+ / 0-)

      direction.

      I don't get the super-slow phase in. We aren't talking $50 per hour here. You could do it by 2015 no problem. Or sooner.

      And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

      by Pale Jenova on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 06:55:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The super-slow phase-in is simple to explain (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tool

        We can't expect the Job Creators to increase prices any quicker than that. It's all about THEM, doncha know? We certainly can't expect companies to make up this difference...they've got expectations and fiscal goals outside this increase.

        Never mind that everyone making this extra money is going to SPEND IT AS SOON AS THEY GET IT...and stimulate the fuck out the economy, increasing the largesse of the Job Creators...

        Atrios is so right. Our Overlords have NO IDEA how the economy works, but they are in charge, and their business model is strictly sadism.

        "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

        by DaddyO on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 11:40:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Reporting on the minimum wage (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, mconvente, DaddyO

    Most reporting on the minimum wage votes fails to acknowledge that "raising the minimum wage to $10.10" can mean various things because it's all in the tranches. This bill is weaker than the Senate bill, for instance. The Senate bill has three tranches: 90 days from passage, 1 year after that, and 1 year after that. All in all, the Senate bill would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 in 2 years and 3 months (from when it passes). This bill takes until 2018 to get the same value. The real value of that $10.10 will have eroded by then.

    Hawaii's a deep blue state. Deep blue states should not be passing weaker bills. They should be pushing beyond what Senate Democrats want because they aren't bound by the same strictures.

    •  I truly believe it's about how far to the right (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SGA

      ...our citizens and even our 'blue' leaders have been driven.

      They reflexively stop far ahead of any measures we REALLY need. What we need is to tax the super rich at 1950s levels again, making loopholes for them to invest in jobs and new businesses. Mandatory vacations would send the travel and leisure industries THROUGH THE ROOF. Mandatory sick days and maternity leave would create NEW part-time jobs to fill in for the employees out.

      I've heard businesses use the phrase 'think outside the box' for decades now, but they are doing ANYTHING BUT THAT these days.

      "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

      by DaddyO on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 11:35:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  These comments made me check San Francisco's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest

    minimum wage bill. It started in 2003 and is linked to the cost of living, and applies to restaurant workers as well. This year it's $10.74 per hour. Granted, the cost of living is very high here. What has upset me about all these efforts at increasing the minimum wage is that it takes so long to get there. I don't know if they are tied to the cost of living in any way either.

  •  Seriously.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nominalize, RiveroftheWest, SGA

    As a former small business owner/manager, I do not understand reluctance against a decent living wage as well as mandatory minimums that should - at the very least - come very close to that.

    While it is certainly - certainly, and again I say certainly - a disgrace for any worker to be paid what we in Belgium would call a hunger wage (you heard me food stampers at Walmart and fast food chains), it also really sucks when you try to treat your employees right but your competitors kind of starve them into submission.

    Sure, that's an exaggeration. Unfortunately it's not a big one.

    I ride the wild horse .

    by BelgianBastard on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 07:44:21 PM PDT

    •  No exaggeration--- you're exactly right. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, SGA

      It's the moral hazard of competition:  Not that there will be bad apples (there always will), but that without rules and regulations, the bad apples will always spoil the bunch.  

      Employers who want to pay living wages find they can't without putting their business under, because they have immoral competitors who will underpay with ruthless glee.

      As a result, the small of minority of bad folks end up getting the majority of generally good folks to do bad things.  It's like this in business, sports, education, anywhere where there's competition without regulation.  Why? Because the scoreboard doesn't care how the points got there.  Only we do.

      Winning by any means necessary is human nature, but it is destructive if it isn't checked.  History shows the process won't stop itself: Only we can step in and stop it.

      Nobody deserves poverty.

      by nominalize on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 09:15:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What goes around comes around (0+ / 0-)

      In macro-economics and a fiat-style money system, it really is as simple as that. In OUR de-regulated One Percent-slanted system, it's a game for the super-rich to track how much of the economy is in the hands of a single person or family or entity.

      It's a game to them. Nothing else. How much power do YOU wield? Bonus: it's also an APHRODISIAC for all involved.

      "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

      by DaddyO on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 11:31:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wouldn't mind living in a place (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, BMScott

    where a politician who signed a good bill like this one got leied.

    -8.38, -7.74 My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. - Jack Layton

    by Wreck Smurfy on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 07:47:14 PM PDT

  •  I seriously DO NOT mean to be a buzzkill, but (5+ / 0-)

    $10.10/hr in Hawai'i is not enough.

    The cost of living in Hawai'i is astronomically high.  A gallon of milk runs about $6.00.  Everything is more expensive because so much has to be shipped in.

    While I applaud these steps, a living wage has to be connected to the actual cost of living wherever one may live.

    We need to be emphasizing a "LIVING WAGE," not just a "minimum wage."

    Let's do this, people!

    The older I get and the more I learn, the more ready I will be to fucking trash your bullshit position.

    by TigerMom on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 08:35:08 PM PDT

  •  I have a small question: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest

    Why 10 dollars and 10 cents?  

    Don't get me wrong: I'm a living wage supporter, never mind minimum wage.  But I'm just curious if there's a symbolic or practical reason why it isn't a round number like 10 even.

    Nobody deserves poverty.

    by nominalize on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 09:11:29 PM PDT

  •  states rights (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest

    Aren't states rights a bitch when you turn them on their head.

  •  $10.10 by 2018 (0+ / 0-)

    IT'S 2014. THAT'S OVER THREE YEARS AWAY.

    God DAMMIT, people, READ THE FUCKING FINE PRINT. And if you think anyone should be SATISFIED with this...by the time 2018 rolls around, how many people will STILL be stuck in poverty making $10.10? Because even the historically-low inflation rate we SUFFER under today will have CAUGHT UP WITH THAT FIGURE?

    We need a revolution, not band-aids. Am I really to the left of the rest of you? Or are all the people who are actually 'thrilled' by this news enjoying REAL jobs? Or maybe you just like 'good' news and are sick of being depressed by the present economic situation?

    That must be it. Anyone who thinks this is good enough is as big a fool as ANY Teabagger. It's NOT. We are in the whirlpool--circling the drain of the toilet, macro-economically speaking. And the same applies to TOO MANY OTHER issues...

    Believe otherwise all you like: Obama and the Democrats have failed us. Yes, I know, there really is no alternative, but in 20 years, you just might agree with me. Meanwhile...celebrate all you want.

    "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

    by DaddyO on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 11:24:24 PM PDT

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