Marine Diver - The San Juan Daily Star

February 13-15, 2015
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The San Juan Daily Star
3 February 13-15, 2015
The San Juan Daily Star has exclusive New York Times News Service in English in Puerto Rico
EDITOR’S NOTE: So that our employees can enjoy the Presidents Day holiday,
the Star will not publish on Monday, Feb. 16.
Economist Says IVA Is Wrong
Approach for Economy in Crisis
[email protected]
Lottery Winners
Legal Notices
he problem with implementing a 16 percent valued-added tax (IVA by its Spanish
acronym) in Puerto Rico is that the island
has been in a nearly decade-long economic recession, and “a basic rule in economics is that you
don’t increase taxes during an economic depression” because the government will not generate
the expected revenues, economist Jorge Elguera
said Thursday.
“It will be detrimental and we have seen experiences going back to the late President John
F. Kennedy when taxes were lowered and then
revenues increased because the people started to
pay taxes by consuming, purchasing, spending
more,” Elguera said. “Economically this [implementing the IVA] forces the consumer [and] the
business owner to protect their finances and start
to consume less.”
In a radio interview, Elguera noted that the
IVA is a simple way to collect revenues because it
is a form of consumption tax.
“Sometimes it’s very difficult for economies
in crisis -- or in a fairly basic economy or for an
underdeveloped economy in which it is pretty
difficult to capture revenues for government coffers -- then a consumption tax is like pointing a
rifle [at the heads of taxpayers], and then everybody has to pay because everybody has to purchase something because we live in a society of
consumption, so everyone has to pay the tax,” he
Elguera explained that the problem with
the IVA has nothing to do with the fact that it
has been successfully implemented in some 150
countries, or that it is a well-known tax model or
that existing models from other countries make
it easier to implement in Puerto Rico.
“The difference is that most of the countries
that implemented it were financially stable, while Puerto Rico has a stagnant economy and has
been in a nearly decade-long recession,” Elguera
said. “And to make the economy move forward
you need the people to be economically stable
and spending [money], that is how to jump-start
an economy. But that is not the case here.”
He added that Puerto Rico “is still healthy
in the sense that the people still consume.”
“And we are killing the last thing that Puerto Rico has and that is internal demand for the
local economy,” Elguera added.
Over the past five years or more, Elguera
said, salaries have decreased on the island.
“For example, five years ago a person made
$30,000 a year, then the company closed and now
the person has a new job but gets paid minimum
wage so they are already consuming less, and
will continue consuming less with the IVA because everything will cost more,” Elguera said.
Puerto Rico Certified Public Accountants
(CPA) Association President Kermit Lucena,
meanwhile, said the projections by Treasury Department advisers are based on collecting 75 percent of the IVA, a substantial improvement from
what Treasury has been able to collect in the past
eight years.
“In eight years Treasury has not captured
75 percent of the sales and use tax, so this worries the CPA association … that the revenues
are not captured for two reasons: the projection
of what is set out to be captured is too high and,
second, it is being projected in the island’s worst
economic times, and if there are fewer people
consuming, then less revenues are going to be
collected and we will see in one year collections of 20 or 21 percent, not 75 percent,” Lucena
The San Juan Daily Star
February 13 - 15, 2015
Governor Blasts Trio of PDP Mayors for Opposing IVA
[email protected]
ov. Alejandro García Padilla on
Thursday lashed out at the three
Popular Democratic Party (PDP)
mayors who oppose eliminating the
sales and use tax (IVU by its Spanish
acronym) to make way for a 16 percent
value-added tax (IVA by its Spanish
“The press release sent by the mayors of Caguas, San Juan and Carolina,
came out before I filed the legislation. It
was impossible that they had read it,”
García Padilla said in a radio interview.
“In addition, it’s 1,675 pages long. Even
if they had issued the press releases one
hour later it would have been impossible for them to have read the legislation,
but still they issued [the news release]
before the legislation was filed.”
The governor said that while some
mayors may be against his proposed tax
reform, others, such as Villalba Mayor
Luis Hernández, do favor it.
On Wednesday, Carolina Mayor
José Carlos Aponte, Caguas Mayor William Miranda Torres and San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz staunchly opposed the proposed implementation of the
IVA and warned that the change in the
island’s tax system will provoke adverse effects such as high inflation, further
impoverishment of the population, reductions in consumption, closing of businesses and a massive loss of jobs.
García Padilla, meanwhile, added
that members of other political parties
also expressed their opposition before
reading the legislation and all of the details in his proposal.
“It’s good that the people know
that those who had opposed it until
yesterday at 4 p.m., more or less, when
the legislation was filed, opposed it without reading it. A very fundamental
issue,” the governor said. “If you describe yourself as being a pro-labor person
who defends the workers and all of sudden someone [the governor] proposes
an idea that will stop taking taxes out
San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz
workers’ checks, then to be consistent
… you should aspire to read [the legislation] before criticizing it.”
Pierluisi Picks Up More Support in
Congress for Statehood Yes/No Bill
[email protected]
esident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi announced Thursday that 10
members of Congress have joined
him as co-authors of the bipartisan legislation that will pave the way for Puerto Rico
to become a state.
The sponsorship comes at a time
when several Republicans are calling for
Puerto Rico to be placed under a federal
board to manage its financial affairs.
HR 727 calls for a status vote that will
be held a year after the approval of the bill
or no later than the end of 2017. The legislation will ask voters if they want to become
a state.
According to the bill, if a majority of
Puerto Ricans vote for statehood, there will
be a statehood declaration on Jan. 1, 2021.
“As I have said before, the cosponsorship of HR 727 is significant,” Pierluisi said
in a statement. “With their signature each
member of Congress in essence is suppor-
ting Puerto Rico’s admission as a state in a
short time, once voters approve it.”
Currently, the bill has 61 sponsors, 48
Democrats and 13 Republicans. There are
more Republicans supporting the current
bill than the previous HR 2000, which was
never approved.
Many Puerto Ricans voted in favor
of statehood on a 2012 November status
vote and also rejected the current commonwealth status.
Congress in 2014 approved a $2.5
million allocation to hold a vote in Puerto
Rico under certain conditions. The White
House has proposed a vote with new status options.
The governing Popular Democratic
Party (PDP) has said it supports the proposed vote, which will contain status options that have to be previously approved
by Congress. The PDP has yet to come up
with a definition for commonwealth.
Pierluisi said that if Congress passes
his bill, the $2.5 million could be used for
the yes-no statehood vote.
The San Juan Daily Star
February 13-15, 2015
Many PDP Lawmakers Remain Unsold on Proposed IVA
[email protected]
hile they admitted that they still have
to read the Tax Reform filed by Gov.
Alejandro García Padilla on Wednesday, many Popular Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers said they are worried about the adverse effects that a 16 percent value-added tax will
have on the lives of Puerto Ricans.
The government wants to get half of its revenues from consumption taxes and is proposing massive cuts to the individual and corporate taxes as well as anti-regressivity measures, but
it will have to do more to convince its lawmakers
to pass the tax.
Right now, there is no certainty that the
measure has the needed votes for approval as
mayors from Caguas, San Juan and Carolina are
opposing the bill and pressuring lawmakers to
do the same.
The tax reform is needed to deal with huge
debt of $73 billion affecting the island.
PDP Rep. Luis Raúl Torres said that in the
160 countries where there is a value-added tax
(IVA by its Spanish acronym), there are three different kinds, such as in Spain.
He said that in Spain there is a general IVA
of 21 percent and then a reduced IVA of 4 percent
on other items.
“That is more equitable; we should do that,”
he said.
Torres also said he was worried that municipalities will not have enough money to operate
as the central government will collect the tax and
then distribute a portion to the towns.
Sen. Gilberto Rodríguez said he is worried
about the impact of the tax on private education
because poor and middle class students go to
private universities.
On the other hand, Rep. Jesús Santa believes the current tax system is unfair to the salaried worker and supports tax reform.
“My only concern is that we should make
sure money flows to the municipalities and that
they are not affected,” he said.
The San Juan Daily Star
February 13-15, 2015
Exemptions to Proposed IVA Include Financial Services, Meds, Unprocessed Foods
[email protected]
he proposed Tax Reform will impose a value-added tax (IVA by its Spanish acronym)
of 16 percent on all goods and services including water, electricity and education, and will
prevent towns from imposing their own taxes.
Under the draft law submitted after press
time by La Fortaleza on Wednesday, the first phase of the proposed law would become effective on
April 1, 2015 with the implementation of the new
tax structure for individuals and businesses, as
well as the imposition of the IVA. The second phase, consisting of the full implementation of all provisions of the IVA, will be effective Jan. 1, 2016.
The bill contains the following exemptions
to the 16 percent IVA:
1- Financial services and insurance
2- Sale and import of prescription drugs
and items for the treatment of health conditions
3- Items and equipment for people with
4- Sale of any goods or the provision of any
services that are paid for by or qualify for full or
partial reimbursement from Medicare, Medicaid
and health insurance
5- Sale of goods and services to local, federal and state agencies and from Washington,
6- Sale and importation of gasoline, aviation fuel, “gas oil” or “diesel oil” blends, crude
oil, partially processed and finished products derived from oil and any other mixture of hydrocar-
bons other than propane and derivatives
7- Lease of rooms subject to occupancy tax
levied by the Tourism Co.
8- Sale of unprocessed foods and food ingredients
9- Funds received under the Federal Nutrition Assistance Program (PAN by its Spanish
acronym) or under the Special Supplemental
Nutrition Program for Pregnant Women, Infants, Postpartum, Infants and Children age 1 to
5 years
10- Sale of properties
11- Lease of properties that are the principal residence of the tenant, including student
accommodation and rooms for the elderly in institutions for the elderly
12- Transfers of goods and services provided by nonprofit entities
13- Sale of machinery, medical and surgical
instruments, equipment and technology and the
import of such goods by any hospital unit
14- Sale and import of goods for agriculture and farmers
15- Occasional sale of property by churches
or religious organizations
16- Sale and import of goods by a merchant
in a tourism-related business
17- Sale and import of automobiles, trucks,
buses, truck and trailer hitches, manual equipment or other non-heavy equipment
Because of concerns over the impact that
taxes will have on education, especially on private schools, Treasury Committee Chairman Rafael Hernández said parents have the option of
sending their children to public schools to save
Furthermore, although Treasury Secretary
Juan Zaragoza said municipalities could continue
to collect the 1 percent sales and use tax (IVU by
its Spanish acronym) and that it will coexist with
the IVA, the bill would eliminate the IVU and
bans municipalities from imposing taxes.
“No municipality, autonomous or not, will
impose or collect dues or taxes, sales and use, goods and services, value-added or any other tax of
a similar nature, except as otherwise specified by
law” the measure said.
House Treasury Committee Chairman Rafael Hernández said the 1 percent tax that will be
dibursed to towns will be collected within the
16 percent tax. The revenues will also be used
to create a public works fund and a redemption
fund for towns.
As the governor had anticipated, single
individuals earning less than $40,000 a year and
married couples earning less than $80,000 will
pay no income taxes.
Singles who earn in excess of $40,000, but
not in excess of $125,000, will pay a 15 percent
tax rate in excess over $40,000; those who make
more than $125,000 but not over $200,000 will
pay $12,750 plus 20 percent of the excess over
$125,000. Those who earn in excess of $200,000
will pay $27,750 plus 30 percent of the excess over
Married people who earn between $80,000
and $125,000 will pay a 15 percent tax rate. Married couples earning over $125,000 but not over
$200,000 will pay $6,750 plus 20 percent of the excess over $125,000. Those who earn over $200,000
will pay $ 21,750 over 30 percent of the excess
over $200,000.
Under the new structure, the following
deductions remain applicable to taxpayers who
file as individuals or married couples: 1) medical
expenses, 2) donations, 3) loss of property by certain casualties, 4) contributions to governmental
pension or retirement systems, 5) contributions
to individual retirement accounts (not exceeding
$5,000 or $10,000 if married), and 6) interest paid
on student loans at the university level.
Married taxpayers will also maintain the
benefit of the optional computation for married
people living together and filing jointly.
On the other hand, mortgage interest as a
deduction will no longer be applicable as it will
become a tax credit with some percent and maximum amounts applicable, says the measure.
At the same time, the alternate basic tax
and the special tax on the self-employed (surcharge of 2 percent) will be eliminated.
Hernández said the proposed tax reform
also eliminates the preferential tax rates.
Tax Reform Eases Conversion to Flow-Through Entities
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[email protected]
he proposed Tax Reform changes the tax
treatment given to partnerships, limited
liability companies, special partnerships
and corporations by making it easier for them
to become flow-through entities to reduce their
tax burden.
Critics say the bill does not say what will
happen if the owner is not a resident and has
more than one flow-through investment.
A flow-through, or pass-through, entity is
a special business structure that is used to reduce
the effects of double taxation. Pass-through entities don’t pay income taxes at the corporate level.
Instead, corporate income is allocated among the
owners, and income taxes are only levied at the individual owners’ level.
Flow-through entities are commonly
grouped into limited, general and limited liability partnerships, along with income trusts
and limited liability companies. Although flowthroughs are considered non-entities for tax purposes, U.S. law still requires flow-through entities to file an annual K-1 statement. The same
thing will happen in Puerto Rico.
“This way, all are consolidated and will
be recognized as pass-through entities,” the bill
states. “Starting in 2015, we will only accept elections of pass-through entities.”
The pass-through entities will be regulated by a new chapter in the Internal Revenue
“All entities that are treated as passthrough entities for tax purposes prior to 2015
will be obligated to convert themselves to passthrough entities,” the bill reads. “The tax base
of the owners at the closing of 2015 will be the
starting point for the new tax base.”
Pass-through entities will be required
to file a yearly income tax document, detailing
gross income and deductions no later than
March 15.
The San Juan Daily Star
February 13-15, 2015
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y el
Compren un
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D escuento válido en m ercancía a precio regular. Válido del 9 al 15 de febrero de 2015. No aplica con otras ofer tas ni en compra s previas . Precios regulares desde $ 10 hasta $ 49 8 . E xcluye la marca L acoste. El segundo p ar debe ser de igual o m enor precio.
February 13-15, 2015
The San Juan Daily Star
Lawmaker Draws Fire with Suggestion to Private School Parents
[email protected]
ouse Treasury Committee Chairman Rafael “Tatito”
Hernández on Thursday made a recommendation
to those families that won’t be able to pay for their
children’s private school education once the value-added tax
(IVA by its Spanish acronym) is implemented: to move to an
area where some of the best public schools are located and enroll their children in the public school system.
“Maybe you will have to move to another town, because
the Education Department doesn’t obligate you to have your
child enrolled in the school that is around the corner,” Hernández said in a radio interview. “You can use the services offered
by the best [public] school.”
He insisted that a private school education is a family
decision, but all families have the option of having their children in the public school system, which is free, and which has
El Sr. Omar J. García Torres, representante autorizado de la empresa
Punta Santiago Metals Recycling, lnc., ha sometido en la Junta de
Calidad Ambiental una modificación para cambio de nombre de
la empresa e incluir otros desperdicios en el permiso vigente para
operar una Instalación de Procesamiento de Desperdicios Sólidos No
Peligrosos {papel, periódico, cartón, plástico, vidrio (cuando exista
mercado para éste), paletas de madera, metales ferrosos (excepto
chatarra vehicular) y no ferrosos, tarjetas de computadoras, paneles
de aire acondicionado, motores eléctricos y catalíticos}.
El Reglamento para el Manejo de los Desperdicios Sólidos No Peligrosos,
establece en el Capítulo IX el requisito de solicitar un permiso como
condición previa a la operación de una instalación de desperdicios
sólidos no peligrosos, el cual es aplicable a dueños u operadores. La
Regla 649 del mencionado capitulo requiere la publicación de este
Aviso y regula la celebración de Vistas Públicas, las cuales podrían
ser efectuadas de considerarse necesarias por esta Junta, o por
peticiones durante el período comprendido para comentarios.
Copia de la solicitud de permiso, al igual que el borrador del permiso y
otros documentos relevantes al caso, están a la disposición del público
para ser examinados en el Área Control Contaminación de Terrenos
de la Junta de Calidad Ambiental ubicada en la Ave. Ponce de León #
1375, Carr. Estatal 8838, Seclor El Cinco, Río Piedras de 8:00 a.m. a
4:30 p.m., de lunes a viernes.
Este anuncio se publica conforme a lo requerido por la Ley sobre
Política Pública Ambiental, Ley 416 del 22 de septiembre de 2004. El
costo del Aviso Ambiental es sufragado por la entidad peticionaria.
Las partes interesadas o afectadas , pueden someter sus comentarios
por escrito a la Sra. María Janice Sostre, Directora Interina de la Oficina
Regional de Humacao, no más tarde de treinta (30) días a partir de la
publicación de este Aviso.
Sr. Weldin F. Ortiz Franco
Director Ejecutivo
Oficina Regional de Humacao
Junta de Calidad Ambiental
Ave. Boulevard del Rio
Centro de Gobierno
PO BOX 8568
Humacao, Puerto Rico 00792
Teléfonos (787)285 -2818 - (781)285-7997 Tel.-Fax
Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico
the infrastructure to accommodate 700,000 children although
currently there are only 400,000 children enrolled.
Last year, the island Education Department closed more
than 500 public schools, and every semester there is a lack of
teachers in certain courses, mostly English, physics and special
education teachers, among others. When these teachers are not
hired, students miss out on the course for the entire year.
In addition, the Education Department doesn’t have
substitute teachers, so when an teacher is out sick, the students
don’t have that class that day.
Hernández’s comments ignited immediate reactions,
such as from New Progressive Party (NPP) Sen. José Pérez,
who demanded a retraction.
“That comment was insensitive and deplorable from a
lawmaker who is supposed to watch out for the people and the
constituent’s best interests,” Pérez said. “We condemn these
reprehensible statements and demand that Hernández ask for
forgiveness from the thousands of Puerto Ricans he offended
with his words.”
Meanwhile, Linda Vélez, a mother who has her two children enrolled in a Catholic school in San Juan, told the STAR
that she won’t be able to pay for after-school care, which in her
case is at the same school her children attend and is staffed by
two teachers.
“I need to leave them at school until 6:30 p.m. because
I work until 6 and so does my husband, and they won’t let
us bring them to work after school. This is an additional combined cost of $250 each month for both children,” Vélez said.
“It’s actually very helpful because they get their homework
done and study for their tests, and when we get home we can
have some family time.”
But with the monthly school costs going up and the annual enrollment fee, plus books, uniforms, supplies and other
costs, Vélez won’t have the money to pay for after-school
“And public schools don’t offer this [after-school care]
either, so my hands are tied,” she said. “We don’t have anyone that can take care of them after school. I really don’t know
what we are going to do. I can’t believe the governor can be
so insensitive that he wouldn’t take into account any of these
She said that in her opinion it seems like many things
were not taken into consideration when the tax reform was being drafted.
“Everyone has a different story, different costs. Every
month things change, and you need more money some days
than others,” she said. “I feel like we are being forced out of
Puerto Rico and to the [U.S.] mainland, where there is daycare
in public schools, where the cost of living is cheaper.”
First Week of February Sees Sharp Rise in Flu Cases
[email protected]
nfluenza contagions and hospitalizations caused by the virus continue on the rise, the Puerto Rico Health Department
announced Thursday.
From Jan. 4 to Feb. 7 there were 4,219 official reported influenza cases of influenza on the island. But what may be most
alarming is the fact that 799 cases were reported in just one
week – from Feb. 1 to the 7, reads the latest Health Department
report issued Thursday afternoon.
According to the weekly report, the towns of Aguadilla
and Mayagüez have reported the highest number of influenza
cases, followed by the [San Juan] metropolitan area, Ponce and
“In terms of the age groups, the population of the ages
between 0 and 19 years old represents 53 percent, or 2,252 of
the 4,219 reported cases,” reads the report, adding that the
most affected age group runs between the ages of 0 to nine
years old.
Due to a sharp rise in contagions since January, Health
Secretary Ana Ríus declared an epidemic last week. Influenza
is a viral disease and it usually comes on suddenly.
People who have the flu often feel some or all of these
symptoms: fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat,
runny and/or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches,
fatigue, tiredness, vomiting and diarrhea.
“It is very important, especially in those places where
there are a lot of people such as schools, to wash your hands
regularly, and maintain good respiratory hygiene, using disposable napkins to avoid infecting others. If you are sick with influenza, stay at home, don’t go to work, and don’t go to school
because you are still a source of the contagion,” Ríus said.
Meanwhile, the Health Department has also declared a
chikungunya epidemic, a virus spread to humans via the bite
of an infected female Aedes species mosquito – Aedes aegypti
or Aedes albopictus. These are the same tropical and sub-tropical mosquitoes that carry the dengue virus.
According to the Health Department’s report issued Thursday, from Jan. 1 to Jan. 28, 123 presumed cases of chikungunya
were reported and 34 were officially confirmed by lab results.
According to the report, from the accumulated cases
from 2014 there have been some 28,466 presumed cases out of
which 4,274 were confirmed by lab results. In addition, it has
been confirmed that 14 people had chikungunya at the moment they died.
The San Juan Daily Star
February 13-15, 2015
PR Winner Stands to Claim One-Third of $564 Million Powerball Pot
omebody who stopped by a Shell station in
southern Puerto Rico was potentially $100 million richer on Thursday, winning a share of a
$564.1 million Powerball jackpot -- the first winner
outside the continental United States.
The winner, who will share the jackpot with
people in North Carolina and Texas, had not yet come
forward at press time, but several Puerto Rico residents who bought tickets at the station in the coastal
city of Ponce have stopped by to ask about who won,
said employee Yomaris Rentas.
She had just started her shift at the 24-hour station early Thursday when the lottery machine began
printing a message alerting her that the winning ticket had been sold there.
“I couldn’t believe it!” she said with a laugh.
“We’re celebrating.”
The winner can claim the prize starting today,
choosing between a lump sum payment of $101.6
million or 30 payments over 29 years, said Antonio
Pérez López, assistant secretary of the Puerto Rico
“We are beyond thrilled with the news that we
already have a multimillion-dollar winner just four
months after Puerto Rico began selling Powerball tickets,” he said.
News that one of the three Powerball winning
tickets was bought in Puerto Rico elicited offensive
tweets questioning why island residents -- who are
born U.S. citizens since Puerto Rico is a U.S. commonwealth -- had the opportunity to buy tickets. For
“It’s completely outrageous someone from
Puerto Rico won the powerball, thought this was
— Colin Ryan (@CTJR7) February 12, 2015
As the news, commentary and humor web site
Latino Rebels first pointed out, the news brought out
Twitter responses such as “I thought this was America!” and others with language too offensive to print,
but including “How is the place that doesn’t even
pay taxes eligible for powerball?”
Yet another tweet went as follows:
“So we all spent money to buy powerball tickets in America and someone in Puerto Rico won it....
what is wrong with that picture?”
— R Taff (@rtaffofficial) February 12, 2015
Puerto Rico residents pay federal taxes including Social Security, payroll, import/export taxes
and Medicare. While most who live year-round on
the island do not have to pay federal personal income taxes, those with income sources from the U.S. as
well as those working for the U.S. government or the
military do pay them.
Neither of the other two Powerball winners has
been identified either.
The Texas Lottery posted on Twitter that one of
the winning tickets was sold at Appletree Food Mart
in Princeton, Tex. There was no immediate informa-
tion on the city or store that produced the winner in
North Carolina.
Besides 44 states and Washington, D.C., the
game is also played in the U.S. Virgin Islands, but
there has never been a jackpot winner there, said Sue
Dooley, senior drawing manager and production coordinator for the Multi-State Lottery Association.
It had been nearly a year since a Powerball prize
reached the giant number people have come to expect recently. That was last February, when someone
won $425.3 million.
Wednesday’s jackpot was the third-largest in
Powerball history and the fifth-largest U.S. lottery
prize. The last time a Powerball jackpot climbed so
high was May 2013, when a Florida ticket won a
$590.5 million prize.
Should the winners select the lump sum option,
each would get a one-third share of $381,138,450.16
before taxes. The other option is an annuity, under
which the lottery would make payments 30 times
over 29 years.
The largest payout in U.S. history was to three
ticketholders in the Mega Millions game, the other
national lottery drawing. That was a $656 million prize won in March 2012 by players in Kansas, Illinois
and Maryland.
In 2012, state officials who run Powerball and
Mega Millions changed ticket prices and lowered the
odds of winning jackpots in hopes the moves would increase the number of huge prizes and draw more players.
The new rules worked, causing jackpots to repeatedly
climb to record levels. More than half of the top 10 U.S.
jackpots have been reached in the past couple of years.
The winning numbers in Wednesday’s drawing
were: 11, 13, 25, 39, 54 and the Powerball 19.
The jackpot now goes back to $40 million for the
next drawing on Saturday.
NYC Council Speaker Mark-Viverito Urges More $ and Muscle for City
[email protected]
ighter sentences for misdemeanors and new
muscle for New York City’s Human Rights Commission could help the situation for many Latinos unjustly treated in the Big Apple, said City Council
Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
She made these suggestions in her first state of
the city message this week.
“Let’s confront systemic problems in human
rights, workers’ rights and civil rights – and meet the
challenges in housing, penal justice, small business
and education,” Mark-Viverito said.
As part of her agenda for this legislative term,
Mark-Viverito said she wants to increase by $5 million
the Commission’s 2016 budget, 80 percent of which
has been lost, along with the city’s legal services.
Mark-Viverito, who grew up and was educated
in Bayamón, also proposed to expand the use of citations and fines to deal with misdemeanors.
“We must promote an integrated reform of penal
justice, to guarantee a fairer system, that will improve police relations with the community and approach
the issue that too many of our young people -- most
of them low-income black and Latino males -- are in
Mark-Viverito, whose position is the second highest in New York City, after that of the mayor, gave
her speech at the Johnson Community Center in “El
Barrio” or Spanish Harlem, as the historic Puerto Rican
neighborhood is known.
She also endorsed the idea that the city exert autonomy in imposing the minimum wage, which is now
up to the state government.
The minimum wage in New York is $8.75 per hour
and will go up in January 2016 to $9, the lowest minimum wage for any large U.S. city, taking into account
the cost of living, the municipal legislator claimed.