Politics

Hawaii Governor Focuses on Taxes, Economic Stability in State of the State Address

January 22, 2014

Governor Neil Abercrombie highlighted the state's $844 million surplus and pushed for tax breaks for seniors, along with raising the minimum wage during his fourth State of the State Address Tuesday morning at the State Capitol.

"Average weekly earnings have increased 16% since 2007. For minimum wage workers it's zero," described Abercrombie during his annual address to lawmakers, announcing his proposal to raise the minimum wage by $1.50 to at least $8.75 by January 2015.

"We tried to figure out what inflation had taken place since 2007 and simply added it up, so the proposal would simply be the same buying power as existed in 2007," explained Abercrombie.

But Senator Clayton Hee says the amount is insufficient and should be much higher. He's introducing a $10.10 minimum wage bill, mirrored against that which passed the U.S. Senate.

"At $10.10 a minimum wage earner makes $21,000 a year in a state where the median price of a home is $685,000," said the Senate Judiciary & Labor Committee Chair.

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