Hawaii enacted the nation’s first statewide $18 minimum wage law, with Gov. David Ige’s signature of a bill aimed at fighting poverty among the islands’ workers.
The measure, HB 2510, will raise the state’s minimum wage gradually from $10.10 per hour, first to $12 on Oct. 1 and then in increments until it reaches $18 on Jan. 1, 2028. Given the six-year timeline for the Hawaii law, other states could reach or surpass that $18 level sooner.
- The Democratic governor’s signature comes alongside upward pressure on minimum wages in several blue states. Among them, California is expected to increase its wage floor to $15.50 next year based on inflation, and a proposed ballot initiative would ask voters to approve an increase to $18 there.
- The Hawaii law also expands and makes permanent an earned income tax credit that’s designed to benefit low- and middle-income Hawaiians. The credit now will be refundable to taxpayers whose credit amount is larger than their state income tax obligation.
- The state’s tip credit of 75 cents per hour also will rise incrementally to $1.50, increasing the amount employers can offset the hourly wages they must pay to workers who earn tips.