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Monday, February 22, 2021
Hawaii Republican Legislative Update
By Brett Kulbis @ 3:41 AM :: 574 Views :: Hawaii State Government, Republican Party

2021 Legislative Session

Aloha Oahu Republicans,     Feb 21, 2021

1.  SB676 - Proposing to increase Hawaii’s minimum wage to $12, is scheduled for a hearing before the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, on Monday at 10:30 am.

Here is my testimony in OPPOSITION:

Re: S.B. No. 676 RELATING TO MINIMUM WAGE

The Honolulu County Republican Party OPPOSES increasing the minimum wage for the following reasons:

It’s a jobs killer: An increase to the minimum wage threatens our already wobbly “mom ‘n pop” small businesses in Hawaii and will force more out of business. Any remaining business will hire fewer employees and will cut back on the hours of existing employees.

An increase in the minimum wage will increase prices and the cost of living: It’s basic economics: Increased overhead costs mean increased prices. Our small businesses will have to pass on these new labor costs to their customers. This increases our already record high cost of living and will force even more families to move to the mainland

Instead of raising the minimum wage you should be looking at reducing taxes and regulations on small businesses to allow them to keep more of their earnings so they reinvest that money and raise wages as they see fit. Did we not learn anything from the local successes of the tax cuts implemented by the last administration, lets refresh our memories:

  • Royal Hawaiian Heritage Jewelry (Honolulu, Hawaii) – The company opened additional retail locations, creating new jobs.
  • Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric, Hawai’i Electric Light (Honolulu, Hawaii) – The utility passed along tax savings to customers.
  • Apple (Three Apple store locations in Hololulu: Ala Moana, Kahala, Royal Hawaiian) - $2,500 employee bonuses in the form of restricted stock units.
  • American Savings Bank (Honolulu, Hawaii) - $1,000 bonuses to 1,150 employees; base wage raised from $12.21 to $15.25.
  • Bank of Hawaii (Honolulu, Hawaii) – $1,000 bonuses to 2,074 employees; base wage raise from $12 to $15.
  • Central Pacific Bank (Honolulu, Hawaii) – All 850 employees received $1,000 bonuses; base wage raised from $12 to $15.25.
  • First Hawaiian Bank (Honolulu, Hawaii) -$1,500 bonuses to 2,264 employees; base wage increase to $15.
  • Hawaii National Bank (Honolulu, Hawaii) -- $1,000 bonuses; base wage raised to $15 per hour.
  • Territorial Savings Bank (Honolulu, Hawaii) -- $1,000 bonuses to 247 employees; base wage raised from $11.25 to $15.00 per hour.
  • AT&T -- $1,000 bonuses to 394 Hawaii employees.
  • Walmart – Hawaii employees at 10 Walmart stores received tax reform bonuses, wage increases, and expanded maternity and parental leave. Walmart employees who adopt children will be given $5,000 to help cover expenses.
  • Home Depot -- Seven locations in Hawaii - Bonuses for all hourly employees, up to $1,000.
  • Lowe's -- 800+ employees at four store locations in Hawaii. Employees will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 based on length of service, for 260,000 employees; expanded benefits and maternity/parental leave; $5,000 of adoption assistance.
  • Ryder (Four locations in Hawaii) – Tax reform bonuses to employees.
  • Best Buy -- Locations in Aiea and Honolulu; $1,000 bonuses for full-time employees; $500 bonuses for part-time employees.
  • Cintas (Honolulu, Hawaii) -- $1,000 bonuses for employees of at least a year, $500 for employees of less than a year.
  • Starbucks Coffee Company (99 locations in Hawaii) – $500 stock grants for all retail employees, $2,000 stock grants for store managers, and varying plan and support center employee stock grants.
  • T.J. Maxx – (Multiple locations in Hawaii) – Tax reform bonuses, retirement plan contributions, parental leave, enhanced vacation benefits, and increased charitable donations.
  • U-Haul (Multiple locations in Hawaii) – $1,200 bonuses for full-time employees, $500 for part-time employees.
  • FedEx (Multiple locations in Hawaii) – Accelerated and increased compensation; pension plan contributions.
  • McDonald’s (60+ locations in Hawaii) – Increased tuition investments which will provide educational program access for 400,000 U.S. employees. $2,500 per year (up from $700) for crew working 15 hours a week, $3,000 (up from $1,050) for managers, and more.

2.  Mahalo to Senator Fevella for leading the charge, and everyone that called, emailed and submitted testimony on SB-1321 and HB-359 (Grants forty-year gaming license for a single integrated resort property on Hawaiian home lands designated for commercial use on the island of Oahu excluding lands west of Ko Olina. Establishes Hawaii Gaming Commission. Imposes wagering tax on gross gaming revenue. Creates State Gaming Fund. Appropriates funds.) Your involvement was instrumental in both bills being indefinitely deferred for 2021.

3.  NOTE: This will be a short week as legislators take a mandatory 5-day recess beginning February 25 and returning March 4, a day before 1st Decking.

COMMITTEE HEARINGS CONTINUE!

Watch House and Senate committee hearings live or recorded via Youtube.

Now is the time to take action and let your voice be heard with testimony in the committee hearings which begin meeting this week!

Committees

Legislative Session - In light of the City and County of Honolulu’s current COVID-19 restrictions, please be advised that this year there will be no in person hearings or access to legislators at the capitol building.

Topic Reports

Legislative Calendar 

FEB 25–MAR 3 MANDATORY 5-DAY RECESS – Hawaii’s Constitution mandates a 5-day recess between the 20th and 40th days of the regular session.Neither the House of Representatives nor the Senate convene or assemble formally in chamber on recess days. Committee hearings do take place.

MAR 5–FIRST DECKING (BILLS) – Deadline for bills to emerge from all their committees (with committee reports filed) and be submitted to the clerk of the originating chamber. This “decking” ensures a mandatory 48 hour opportunity for final review by the chamber’s members before they are asked to vote on the third reading. Note: A bill must pass three readings (votes) in each chamber before being enrolled to the governor.

HONOLULU CITY COUNCIL

Become A Citizen Activist

Becoming an effective citizen activist, you must learn how to track a measure you’re interested in and know how and when to submit testimony. That requires knowing how our State Legislature works. Click HERE to prepare yourself for the 2021 Legislative Session.

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