First Read Tonight – June 22, 2017

WEATHER: Mostly cloudy in New York City and a chance of thunderstorms in Albany and Buffalo. New York City, low 73; Albany, low 69; Buffalo, low 71.



* Gov. Andrew Cuomo criticized the U.S. Senate’s version of a massive health care reform bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act as “an ultraconservative assault” that will hurt New York, State of Politics writes.

* Facing a firestorm of criticism over their inaction, state lawmakers may go back into session as soon as Friday to renew New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s authority to run the nation’s largest public school system, the New York Post writes.

* Closing Rikers Island will take at least a decade and require a decline in the inmate population, a continued drop in already low crime rates and a lot of funding and political capital, according to a strikingly blunt proposal from de Blasio, The New York Times writes.

* New York City’s charter schools appeared to have secured a significant last-minute victory, with the passage of a set of regulations that will make it much easier for large charter networks to hire more uncertified teachers, Politico New York reports.

* De Blasio is now pointed the finger squarely at Cuomo for the many problems plaguing the city subway system, saying Cuomo already controls the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board of directors and appoints its leadership, the Post reports.

* More news below …



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* New York City Council members are urging de Blasio to close a deal with Citi Bike to expand the service citywide by 2018 under a plan that would add 6,000 more bikes to the system, including into the Bronx and Staten Island, which currently have no bikes, the Daily News writes.

* State lawmakers passed two bills to expand New York City’s authority to spend money on minority- and women-owned business enterprises and eliminates the state’s cap on personal net worth of nonwhite and female owners for state contracts, the Observer reports.

* Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was fired by President Donald Trump, is writing a book about “the search for justice – not just in criminal cases but in life and society in general,” as Bharara seeks to position himself as the anti-Trump, the Post reports.

* A state Education Department hearing got underway for Carl Paladino, a one-time candidate for governor, who made racist remarks about President Barack Obama and his wife and now faces potential removal from the Buffalo Board of Education, The Associated Press reports.

* Though de Blasio said last year that a website allowing people to pay bail online would be available across the court system by spring 2017, the online payment system still has not launched, the Daily News writes.



Did you know that car wash workers don’t get paid the minimum wage? In fact, they earn far less. Car wash owners have long been exempted from paying their workers the full minimum wage, which has left workers vulnerable to the unpredictability of relying on negligible tips. This loophole encourages wage theft of immigrant workers by wealthy carwash owners. Support Carwasheros in New York State. Ask your legislators to pass S.2664-A/A.2967-A. #EndWashedOutWages




* Ending weeks of speculation, President Donald Trump said that he had not recorded his conversations with former FBI Director James Comey, despite suggesting in a tweet more than a month ago that “tapes” might exist, the Times writes.

* Four conservative Republican U.S. senators announced Thursday that they opposed the current version of the Senate’s health care reform bill, adding some doubt that the bill would be ready for a scheduled vote next week since more negotiations may be needed, according to CNN.



NYC needs more high quality schools now! Charter schools are a proven and successful approach to this problem. There are 48,000 students on NYC charter waitlists – more students than are enrolled in Buffalo, the largest school district outside of NYC.  Despite this, Albany has imposed an arbitrary cap on charters and we are running out of new charters to open. Every neighborhood deserves access to a quality school.  Don’t cap NYC's future; lift the charter school cap! Watch Video>>




* The state Senate ended its legislative session by refusing to vote on the Child Victims Act, despite Cuomo's promise to survivors that this was the year the legislation would finally pass, leading to a caustic segment on “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” Gothamist writes.

* New York City has pledged to divest its pension holdings from private prison companies, but the ultimate goal is to help build a mass movement against the White House and its criminal justice policies, CityLab writes.

* New York City’s Hispanic population is rapidly increased and the group now makes up 29 percent of the city, with the largest number being of Dominican heritage, according to new 2016 U.S. Census Bureau data, The Wall Street Journal reports.



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5 p.m. and 6 p.m. – “MetroFocus” features Karin Anderson, attorney for Ossining student Diego Puma Macancela, who was arrested and taken into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, WLIW21 (5 p.m.) and WNET Thirteen (6 p.m.).

7 p.m. and 10 p.m. – “Road to City Hall” airs, NY1.

8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. – “Capital Tonight” features Jay Worona of the New York State School Boards Association, Spectrum News.



7:05 p.m. – The Yankees host the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, WPIX.

10:10 p.m. – The Mets visit the Los Angeles Dodgers, SNY.



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8:30 a.m. – New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams delivers remarks at P.S. 119’s graduation, 3829 Avenue K, Brooklyn.

10 a.m. – New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams delivers remarks at the Midwood High School Graduation, Kings Theatre, 1027 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn.

10 a.m. – The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, with support from the New York City Council, Assembly and state Senate, presents Brooklyn Eats, the borough’s largest food and beverage trade show, New York Marriott, 333 Adams St., Brooklyn.

11 a.m. – More than 100 striking beer delivery Teamsters from Long Island will rally and hold a press conference outside Anheuser-Busch’s Newark brewery, 200 U.S. Highway 1, Newark.

11 a.m. – “The Capitol Pressroom” features City & State reporter Ashley Hupfl with this week’s Winners & Losers; Ben Max, executive editor of Gotham Gazette; Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb; Vincent Bonventre, a professor at Albany Law School; Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer; and Bill Hammond, director of health policy at the Empire Center for Public Policy, WCNY.

2 p.m. – New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, elected officials and community rally to reopen FDNY Engine Company 261, Former Engine Company 261 Firehouse, 37-20 29th St., Queens.

6 p.m. – New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams attends Brooklyn Community Board 17 Park Committee’s Annual Summer Variety Concert, Paerdegat Park, Brooklyn.


TOP TWEET: “That's too bad. In my experience, tapes are excellent evidence.”

-Preet Bharara @PreetBharara