Obama applauds Hawaii minimum wage hike


HONOLULU — President Barack Obama is commending Hawaii lawmakers for approving the state’s minimum wage to $10.10.

The president says in a statement released Wednesday that Republicans in Congress should follow Hawaii’s lead and raise the minimum wage for 28 million Americans. The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on the issue Wednesday.

The Hawaii measure was approved by legislators Tuesday. Gov. Neil Abercrombie has indicated he will likely approve it.

The increase from $7.25 is the first since 2007 and would be phased in over four years.

Obama says Hawaii joins a large coalition of states, counties, cities and businesses to give individuals a raise.

Obama says it’s time “for Republicans in Congress to listen to the majority of Americans who say it’s time to give America a raise.”