By Derrick DePledge
State Sen. Clayton Hee floated a conference draft of the minimum wage bill to House conferees Monday morning that has Hawaii's minimum wage increasing to $10.10 in three years.
House negotiators last week proposed a draft that would have postponed a minimum wage increase for small businesses of 100 employees or less until 2019.
The most recent Senate draft does not include a small business exemption.
"This one is a step forward and not a step backward," Hee, the lead Senate negotiator, told House conferees after he handed over the draft.
The House and Senate have not been able to agree whether minimum wage should ultimately increase to $10 or $10.10.
Hee's draft also keeps the tip credit — the amount employers are allowed to deduct from tipped employees' hourly wage — at the current 25 cents.
Previous drafts have proposed a tip credit of 75 cents. The House draft that returned to the Senate before conference committee negotiations began permitted employees to take out a 75-cent tip credit only from workers who earn $7 more an hour than the minimum wage.
— Sarah Zoellick