HONOLULU (AP) — A committee of Hawaii senators and representatives on Friday agreed on legislation that would raise the state's minimum wage to $18 an hour by 2028.
The bill goes to the full House and Senate for votes next week.
Hawaii currently has a minimum wage of $10.10 per hour. The rate would go up to $12 on Oct. 1, followed by $14 in 2024, $16 in 2026 and $18 in 2028.
The legislation expands the tip credit, which allows employers to pay workers less than the minimum wage if the workers earn enough in tips. The tip credit will go up from 75 cents to $1 on Oct. 1, followed by $1.25 in 2024 and $1.50 in 2028.
It makes the earned income tax credit refundable and permanent. This tax credit helps low- to moderate-income workers reduce taxes they owe and potentially increase their tax refund.
Hawaii’s existing state earned income tax credit expires this year. It's also not refundable, which means many low-income taxpayers have not been able to use it because their earnings are too low for them to pay significant taxes.