Minimum wage bill tweaked but alive

Hannah Merrill, at Kona Coffee and Tea Company in the Kona Coast Shopping Center, prepares coffee drinks in February. Kelly Drysdale, director of logistics and human resources for the Kona Coffee and Tea Company, said even the $50,000 maximum tax credit to help offset a wage hike would barely cover half of the company’s current medical insurance costs, let alone an increase in wages. Should the bill be passed, Drysdale said, many businesses, including Kona Coffee, would be forced to cut hours for employees and raise costs for customers in order to survive. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

HILO — A bill that would increase the state’s minimum hourly wage has been modified to raise wages even more quickly.