Go to this super easy template from Living Wage Hawaii.Customize or submit as is. Lawmakers listen when people get noisy.
The commentary below is adapted from a call to action by Will Caron, Community Organizer
Pālolo Neighborhood Board 808 387 4920
This too offers helpful tools for submitting testimony.
Living Wage Legislation
More than two-dozen bills have been introduced that deal with raising the minimum wage. Of those, only four propose to raise the minimum wage to a level that would allow a single adult worker to survive self-sufficiently. According to the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, that level is $17 an hour this year. Of course, these bills have to phase the increase in over a number of years to give our business community, and consumers, time to adjust. Research shows that such increases are good for workers, good for businesses and good for communities.
The Chamber of Commerce and its well-connected allies have been pressuring legislators to find a way out of the commitments they made during the primary campaign when they added their names to the Living Wage Hawaiʻi list of supporters. Leadership is looking for a “compromise,” which means breadcrumbs for hungry families. Of the four bills that reach $17 an hour, only one has been scheduled, and it includes a provision that allows employers that provide healthcare to pay their workers less than the minimum wage. That’s the majority of employers in Hawaiʻi.
Here’s what you can do with just a few clicks (or more if you have the time). Keep in mind that these actions will be most useful if completed before tomorrow morning:
- Submit testimony in support of HB1191, but ask that it be amended to include language that incrementally increases the minimum wage over a number of years until it reaches the self-sufficiency level, calculated each year by the state and adjusted to take into consideration rising cost-of-living. To make it easy, I’ve created a template email that you can send as is, or modify, by clicking here.
- Ask House Labor Chair Johanson to schedule a hearing on the superior HB727, which not only gets to $17, it also includes an annual adjustment AND proposes to eliminate the provision that allows employers to pay tipped workers a submininum wage. Click here to send or amend a template email.
- Submit testimony in support of SB1248 and SB789, but ask that they likewise be amended to genuine living wage legislation. Click here to send or amend a template email.
- Ask Senate Labor Chair Taniguchi to schedule a hearing on the superior SB744. Click here to send or amend a template email.