It is important that Hawaii raise its minimum wage laws this year.
In 1974, minimum wage was $1.90. Use an "inflation calculator" from the Web and that should be $8.95 today.
How can a single mom with two children live on $14,500 per year? They can't. How do they get by? Social safety net. Who pays for that? All of us.
Is it right that the community subsidizes employer labor costs so the employer can have a bigger take-home check? Google "Walmart wages" and see what pops up.
The Maui Chamber of Commerce warns of higher unemployment as people get laid off. Nonsense. When low wage earners get a pay raise, they spend it on sale items in our local stores, which increases demand for more employees. Minimum wage jobs are generally service sector jobs; how do you outsource those jobs?
States that have higher minimum wage laws don't have higher unemployment than states with the minimum minimum wages laws. A $9 minimum wage is better for low wage earners, it's good for our economy, and it's the right thing to do.