Hawaii’s legislature voted yesterday to increase the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10.  The increase – the state’s first since 2007 – will be phased in over time, reaching $10.10 by January 2018.

“Raising the minimum wage I contend will have a direct, positive impact on Hawaii’s families,” said Senator Rosalyn Baker (D-HI). “Hawaii’s women with children are disproportionately represented in low wage jobs, and they are the ones who will gain the most from an increase in the minimum wage.”

In February, President Obama issued an executive order raising the minimum wage to $10.10 for federal contractors, and he has been encouraging Congress to raise the overall federal minimum wage to $10.10 as well. Several states have gone ahead and passed legislation on their own like Hawaii’s, including California, Maryland and Connecticut.

Governor Neil Abercrombie is expected to sign the bill into law today.

Media Resources: Associated Press 4/30/14; Reuters 4/30/14; Feminist Newswire 9/27/13, 12/6/13,  2/14/14