The Chamber of Commerce Hawaii raised concerns with four proposals to increase Hawaii’s minimum wage at hearings at the State Capitol Thursday. The Chamber asked lawmakers to consider the impact these bills would have on local businesses’ ability to continue to create jobs, survive in a high cost of living state and pay for benefits currently offered to employees.

From the Chamber’s testimony:

The passage of these bills would seriously harm local businesses, the state economy, job creation and, potentially, the very employees they are trying to help.

“As a direct result of the significant proposed increase in the minimum wage, some businesses may have to cut back hours, reduce benefits or limit the hiring of new employees. Increasing the minimum wage will also greatly affect job opportunities, especially for new, unskilled workers. In addition to traditional adult workers changing industries, young adult workers also often receive their initial work experience by starting at unskilled jobs.”

The Chamber submitted testimony on SB 1248, SB 789, HB 96 and HB 1191. The testimony also requested that lawmakers consider Hawaii’s high mandatory health care costs under the Prepaid Health Care Act.