NY.- Several laws and provisions came into force in different states of the United States at the beginning of 2023.
Likewise, the federal provision of the Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) authorizes changes when applying for permanent residence in US territory.
Many of these laws and provisions will positively or negatively affect tens of thousands of Dominicans residing not only in NY but also in other states.
As of next January 8, the prices of bridges and tunnels that go between NY and New Jersey will go up one dollar. Estos son el Washington, Bayonne, Goethals, Outerbridge Crossing, Holland y Lincoln Tunnel.
AirTrain prices will increase 25 cents. Fares for EZ Pass users will increase from 11.75 to 12.75 per vehicle during non-peak hours and from 13.75 to 14.75 during peak hours. The Lincoln Tunnel eliminated the cash charge.
Subway usage rates will increase this year by 5.5%, reports the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), and the private bicycle service called “Citi Bike” will go from $185 to $205, while the single-ride rate will go down from $3.99 to $4.49
A new law will come into force on the 9th of this month that will harm 10,000 hosts of the AirBnB application, including Dominicans, who rent their apartments to tourists in NYC. There are 40,000 registered properties, including 23,000 houses or apartments and 16,000 individual rooms.
The minimum wage in upstate NY increased from $13.20 to $14.20 effective January 1, but in the Big Apple, Long Island and Westchester County it will remain $15.00 per hour.
An estimated 200,000 New Yorkers in these northern counties will benefit, including thousands of Dominicans. 44% of workers are full-time, and of those, almost 25% support children under 18 years of age. In addition, this increase will help close the gender pay gap, providing some 110,000 women with greater financial stability.
A new bill being introduced would increase the minimum wage to $21.25 by January 2027 statewide. “There are 2 million minimum wage workers in NY who need a raise,” said Michael Kink of Strong Economy for All.
Also, the minimum wage is going up in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia; Virginia’s grocery tax will drop and Marylanders will see limited insulin costs.
California workers will get a pay raise and new rights to their wages in 2023.
NY Governor Kathy Hochul signed the state’s living donor support law, which aims to help remove barriers to organ donation. Reimbursement will be offered to people who donate their liver and kidneys. It is the first state to do so in the USA.
It was enacted in hopes of lifting New York out of its low rank in organ donation among other states. There are currently 8,569 people on waiting lists for transplants. Of these, 7,234 are waiting for a kidney.
In addition, Hochul signed another law that allows New Yorkers to become wedding officiants for a day.
“Bringing people together in marriage is a beautiful moment to be shared with an officiant selected by the prospective spouses,” he said.
The legislation creates a new path for people over the age of 18 to apply for “day designation,” authorizing them to solemnize a single marriage on a specific day in the state, Hochul said.
Also, the state executive passed the human composting law, becoming the sixth state in the US to do so. This law legalizes the natural organic reduction, in allowing this method of burial.
The process goes like this: the body of the deceased is placed in a reusable container along with plant material such as wood chips, alfalfa, and straw. The organic blend creates the perfect habitat for natural microbes to do their job, quickly and efficiently breaking down the body in about a month.
Washington state became the first state to legalize “human composting” in 2019, followed by Colorado, Oregon (2021), Vermont, and California in 2022.
Meanwhile, the USCIS provision authorizes changes when applying for permanent residence in the USA. There is a new Form I-485 so the federal agency will reject documents that use the old version.
The change in the form is related to changes the Joe Biden administration made to the public charge policy, officially repealing the Donald Trump-era rule that prevented immigrants from obtaining legal residence if they had benefited from certain government benefits.