Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – Today, Representative Matthew S. LoPresti, Co-Chair of the Progressive Legislative Caucus, offered his congratulations and expressed his sincere appreciation to Speaker Scott Saiki and the Hawaii State House Leadership for moving forward bills that highlight some of the important issues that the Caucus has been working on this past year.
This was the first year that the Progressive Legislative Caucus introduced legislation. Among the bills introduced was specific legislation addressing vital issues like increasing the minimum wage and reforming our state's pre-trial bail program. "I am encouraged by what our members were able to accomplish while working together with Speaker Saiki and the House Leadership to achieve success on two of the most important Progressive Legislative Caucus priorities for 2022," said LoPresti.
"While many bills are introduced on similar topics each year, I am confident that the voice of our caucus's priorities were heard loud and clear and were factored into the final versions of the bills that will shortly become law with Governor Ige's signature. Ensuring that Hawaii workers will see a substantial pay increase to $18 by 2028, as HB 2510 does is a real accomplishment and a compromise with which we are content, as our version (HB 1771) would have arrived at $18 just a year earlier. Moreover, the final version of the bail reform bill, HB 1567 would not have been possible were it not for the passionate advocacy of our members to on progressive caucus bills like HB 2017."
"I commend and congratulate the members of the Caucus in both the House and Senate for their tireless efforts and time required to find a meaningful and lasting compromise on a living wage that will benefit all our hardworking men and women and their families. Although the Caucus introduced legislation that would increase the minimum wage by 2027, I know that my colleagues are supportive of the compromise for the increase by 2028. This has come during a critical time for our State as the cost of living continues to skyrocket and as we recover slowly from the ongoing pandemic," Rep. LoPresti continued.
"I also want to thank many of my colleagues who have been strong advocates and made it a legislative priority to eliminate the use of monetary bail for those who are accused of certain nonviolent offenses. Cash bail is a system that imprisons those from largely poor and minority communities who often do not have the means to pay for pretrial release, while the rich go free, which has led to the unnecessary and expensive overpopulation of jails and the devastation of poor working families."
"As we move forward, I am hopeful that the House Leadership will continue to look to our caucus for leadership on important issues facing Hawaii in the future and continue to allow for substantial input from Caucus members moving forward." Rep. LoPresti concluded.
The Progressive Caucus is comprised of the following members: Rep. Matthew S. LoPresti (Co-Chair), Sen. Laura Acasio (Co-Chair), Rep. Sonny Ganaden, Rep. Cedric A. Gates, Rep. Greggor Ilagan, Rep. Jeanné Kapela, Rep. Bertrand Kobayashi, Rep. Nicole E. Lowen, Rep. Lisa Marten, Rep. Takashi Ohno, Rep. Amy A. Perruso, Rep. Adrian K. Tam, Rep. Chris Todd, Rep. Tina Wildberger, Sen. Stanley Chang, Sen. Chris Lee Sen. Jarrett Keohokalole, and Sen. Joy A. San Buenaventura.