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Posted: Tuesday, January 21st, 2014 11:28 AM HST

Gov. Neil Abercrombie calls for minimum wage boost

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie says he wants to raise the state's minimum wage to at least $8.75.

Abercrombie told lawmakers in his annual State of the State address Tuesday that he will be proposing a bill to increase the minimum wage by $1.50 starting in January 2015.

He notes that it's been seven years since the minimum wage has increased.

He says Hawaii's unemployment rate has improved to the fifth lowest in the nation, but minimum wage earners are confronted by the much higher cost of living in the state.

Abercrombie says it's a myth that increases to the minimum wage benefits mostly teenagers. He says that in Hawaii, 85 percent of minimum wage earners are 21 years or older.

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