First Read 06/11/2019

June 11, 2019
Latest News
Academy Award-winning actors Jennifer Lawrence and Michael Douglas endorsed a push to overhaul the city’s primary and special elections, joining eight other influencers who are backing “ranked choice voting.”
The New York Black Car Operators’ Injury Compensation Fund, a semi-private benefit fund, is seeking to shield its most recent financial disclosures from public view.
New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer has accused City Council Speaker Corey Johnson of making a “brazen power grab” in an attempt to “circumvent the will of the voters” by making last minute tweaks to campaign finance legislation.
Brooklyn lawyers who decide who can get the crucial Democratic ballot line to run for prized judicial seats are getting jobs as legal guardians and referees from the very judges they’re charged with reviewing.
Lawmakers leading the effort to help adoptees obtain copies of their original birth certificates are optimistic they’ll be able to resolve this issue this session, which would bring an end to one of the more circuitous legislative histories in recent years.
Community advocates, medical professionals and labor leaders urged Long Island’s state Senate delegation to support a bill legalizing recreational marijuana, with the state legislative session expected to conclude in nine days.
When New York’s rent stabilization laws have been up for renewal, political donations to state lawmakers from the real estate industry have dwarfed those made by small-dollar donors, according to a new report from the Public Accountability Initiative.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo blasted Friday’s ruling by a state judge that struck down outside income limits for lawmakers with outside jobs, calling it “confused,” and argued that lawmakers still have the power to ban it themselves.
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The fatal helicopter crash in midtown Manhattan underscored the hazards of having so many helicopters flying over such a densely populated area, and gave opponents of the frequent flights an opportunity to demand further airspace restrictions.
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New York City officials granted landmark status to the Strand’s flagship Broadway bookstore despite the shop’s objections – its owner fears the new status will make maintenance more expensive and ultimately hurt the business.
Service disruptions on the subway caused by homeless people are increasing, even as delays caused by faulty equipment have started to decline, with an 84% increase in homeless-related service delays compared to last year.
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The New York City Council transportation committee will hold a hearing on a bill sponsored by Council Speaker Corey Johnson that would require a five-year “master plan” for city streets to make them more friendly to bikers and pedestrians.
State Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris announced legislation to hold New York’s Democratic presidential primary on April 28, one week after the Republican contest, to help the state “maximize its influence in the presidential nominating process.
New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson questioned the necessity of Uber Copter – an in-the-works helicopter link between Manhattan and JFK Airport – in light of Monday’s fatal chopper crash in Manhattan.
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New York, California and seven other states filed suit in Manhattan federal court in an attempt to block the merger between Sprint and T-Mobile over concerns it would deprive consumers of the benefits of competition and drive up prices for cell phone services.
Jon Stewart blasted the House Judiciary subcommittee for its seeming indifference toward the plight of 9/11 first responders as he testified on their behalf for the extension of the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund.
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A team of investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board arrived on Monday night to begin piecing together the scary sequence leading to a helicopter crash in Manhattan that had New Yorkers fearing another terrorist attack on their city.
With just six days left in the left in the legislative session, Gov. Andrew Cuomo ramped up his pressure on Democratic lawmakers, saying they should all face primaries next year if they fail to pass his broad, progressive-leaning agenda.
State Sen. Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said the state Senate and Assembly have reached a two-way agreement to extend and expand rent control regulations in New York.
Editorial Pages
While some political issues may be more galvanizing, New York City voters may soon have the opportunity to create a rainy day fund for the city, which could be invaluable in the event of a recession, Citizens Budget Commission President Andrew Rein writes.
De Blasio and his schools chancellor, Richard Carranza, are finally catching up with city school integration efforts, and for the good of the city, this can, will and must be done.
New York state is a national leader in the fight for LGBTQ rights, but the state state has discriminatory laws on our books that stifle the liberties of the LGBTQ community and we need to fix them now, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and TV personality Andy Cohen write.
From City & State
National Politics
Mexican negotiators persuaded Trump to back down from his tariff threat by agreeing to an unprecedented crackdown on Central American migrants and accepting more expansive measures in Mexico if the initial efforts don’t deliver quick results.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, two longtime allies, are clashing over whether to begin an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.
President Donald Trump tore into former Vice President and current presidential candidate Joe Biden, questioning his mental fortitude ahead of dueling events in Iowa where Biden similarly laid into the president.
It is the first time in more than a century that all but one state legislature is dominated by a single party, and Republican-held states have rushed forward with conservative agendas as those controlled by Democrats have pushed through liberal ones.
In Depth
When incoming New York City Councilwoman Farah Louis formally takes office, New York will for the first time have two Haitian-Americans in the City Council – a major milestone for the largest and one of the oldest expatriate Haitian communities in the world.
A recently amended public financing bill before the New York City Council is stirring controversy as it heads to a vote, with accusations against Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Councilman Ben Kallos that they are playing political games.
Students at hundreds of New York City schools are heading to the cafeteria at extremely early or late lunch periods, based on a comprehensive review of school lunchtime data by City Limits, illustrating in part the consequences of chronic overcrowding.