142             
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES             H.C.R. NO.            
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                                
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                     HOUSE  CONCURRENT
                        RESOLUTION

REQUESTING THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS TO
   CONDUCT A STUDY ON MINIMUM WAGE LAWS.



 1       WHEREAS, the Legislature supports the fundamental
 2   proposition that the minimum hourly wage paid to an employee
 3   should at least yield a basic "livable wage" to a person
 4   working 2,080 hours per year at the rate of 52 weeks a year and
 5   at 40 hours per week; and
 6   
 7       WHEREAS, the original minimum wage standard, which was
 8   deemed worthy of this spirit and intent, was that the minimum
 9   hourly wage should be one-half the national average hourly wage
10   paid to non-farm, non-supervisory employees; and
11   
12       WHEREAS, a weakness of this standard based on a national
13   average, is that in areas of the country, such as Hawaii, where
14   the cost of living is substantially higher, the federal minimum
15   wage falls far below the original spirit and intent of a fairer
16   minimum wage; and
17   
18       WHEREAS, for instance, during the 1994-1998 period, the
19   cost-of-living differential for the State from the national
20   average has been variously estimated by reputable sources to be
21   somewhere between 25 to 40 per cent; and
22   
23       WHEREAS, accordingly, the Legislature has in recent times
24   provided for a state minimum wage higher than the federal
25   minimum hourly wage; and
26   
27       WHEREAS, a problem has developed over the years, both
28   federally and locally, with keeping the minimum wage current;
29   and
30   
31       WHEREAS, there is an urgent need to always keep the minimum
32   wage current with inflation; and
33   
34       WHEREAS, this is vitally important to low-end wage earners
35   who cannot afford even the slightest erosion of their wages
36   caused by yearly cost-of-living inflation; and

 
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 1       WHEREAS, one method to keep the State's minimum wage apace
 2   with current inflation rates is to create a formula that
 3   calculates the state hourly minimum wage as a function of:
 4   
 5       (1)  The national average hourly wage; and
 6   
 7       (2)  The cost-of-living differential percentage between
 8            Hawaii's cost-of-living and the average cost-of-living
 9            for the continental United States;
10   
11   and
12   
13       WHEREAS, such a formula would provide an automatic yearly
14   cost-of-living adjustment to the minimum wage so that it helps
15   Hawaii's employees keep up with annual cost-of-living
16   inflation; now, therefore,
17   
18       BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the
19   Twentieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session
20   of 1999, the Senate concurring, that the Department of Labor
21   and Industrial Relations (DLIR) is requested to conduct a study
22   on minimum wage laws; and
23   
24       BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this study include:
25   
26       (1)  An examination of section 387-2, Hawaii Revised
27            Statutes (HRS), to determine its relevancy and
28            appropriateness;
29   
30       (2)  A formula by which the State's hourly minimum wage can
31            be automatically adjusted to keep up with the annual
32            cost-of-living inflation; and
33   
34       (3)  Proposed changes to section 387-2, HRS;
35   
36   and
37   
38       BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that DLIR submit its findings and
39   recommendations to the Legislature no later than twenty days
40   before the convening of the Regular Session of 2000; and
41   
42       BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a certified copy of this
43   Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Director of Labor
44   and Industrial Relations.
45 
46 
47 
48                         OFFERED BY:  ____________________________