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.
[Related: 10 reasons to support a living wage – talking points to beef up your testimony]
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.
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