Liz Benjamin

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Posts by Liz Benjamin

Extras

Sandra Lee got a new bird for her birthday.

No sparklers for you, New York.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has embraced a new and controversial treatment for people at risk of contracting H.I.V.

In a unanimous decision, the state Supreme Court appellate division strongly rebuked a challenge to the Adirondack Club and Resort in Franklin County’s Tupper Lake by the advocacy group Protect the Adirondacks!

The Yates County GOP has a billboard up in support for Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino, encouraging gun owners to register to vote to support him.

Senate Republicans have unleashed a new fund-raising email attacking NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and his attempts to help the Democrats grab control of the chamber.

De Blasio’s press office announced a Ramadan Iftar dinner he is hosting at Gracie Mansion tonight for Muslims will be closed to reporters, despite initially being listed as open.

AirBnB will sponsor the next New York City marathon.

Astorino says he can win the “ground game” against Cuomo this fall.

It appears NYC Councilman Fernando Cabrera’s primary challenge to Sen. Gustavo Rivera would fail IDC Leader Jeff Klein’s litmus test.

GOP AG candidate John Cahill differs from Astorino on the Common Core, and also blames AG Eric Schneiderman in part for tis bothced rollout.

In the heat of campaign season, emails begging for cash are bombarding inboxes with ever increasing frequency.

More labor endorsements for IDC Leader Jeff Klein.

Why former Borough President James Molinaro’s appointment to the CUNY board of trustees failed to make it through the Senate remains a mystery.

Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti, who represents the eastern shore of the Hudson River in Westchester County, has come out against a proposed $511 million loan for the Tappan Zee Bridge project.

A state supreme court judge dismissed the Ark Community Charter School’s request to remain open during ongoing litigation with SUNY. The school won’t appeal.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule.

At 7 a.m., state Senate candidate John Liu greets commuters at the LIRR station in Auburndale, 192nd Street and 39th Avenue, in Queens.

At 10:30 a.m., Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo and Clifton Park Supervisor Phil Barrett hold a news conference to highlight importance of wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle, Clifton Common Park, Clifton Park.

At 11 a.m., GOP AG candidate John Cahill meets educators and parents to discuss the role of the office he’s seeking in education, County Annex Building, 20 Park St., Fonda.

Also at 11 a.m., Sen. David Carlucci holds a news conference to discuss increased enforcement of drunk driving laws for the holiday weekend, 55 New Hempstead Rd., New City.

At 11:30 a.m., Liu and NYC Councilman Rory Lancman visit a senior center at 141-55 77th Avenue, Queens.

At 2 p.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio hosts the annual weigh-in ceremony for the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest, seven-time world hot-dog eating champion Joey Chestnut and women’s hot dog-eating champion Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas will attend, Blue Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

At 4:30 p.m., GOP LG candidate and Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss meets with Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard and other local law enforcement officials, American Grille, 7901 Seneca St., East Aurora.

At 6:15 p.m., Moss participates in an honorary M1 For Veterans rifle presentation to retired Staff Sgt. Timothy Payne, East Aurora Fish & Game Club, 1018 Luther Rd., East Aurora.

At 8:45 p.m., de Blasio and First Lady Chirlan McCray deliver remarks at a Ramadan Iftar Dinner, 2014, Gracie Mansion, 88th Street and East End Avenue, Manhattan.

Headlines…

The tentative contract deal between NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and DC 37 provides raises totaling 10%, or 10.41% when compounded, over seven years, plus a $1,000 ratification bonus for each member of a bargaining unit that agreed to the overall deal.

De Blasio said he expects the same pattern of raises to hold for all the other unions – even though unions for police and other uniformed workers are pushing for more.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver nearly doubled his income from a Manhattan plaintiffs’ firm between 2012 and 2013 – far more than any other lawyer-legislator, and for an unclear amount of work, according to financial disclosure forms released on Wednesday.

Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos reported earning $150,000 to $250,000 practicing law at Ruskin Moscou Faltischek last year. IDC Leader Jeff Klein, a partner at Klein Calderoni & Santucci, earned $75,000 to $101,000 – plus $10,000 to $40,000 providing legal services to a pair of caterers in the Bronx.

Republican Sen. Michael Nozzolio earned between $150,000 to $250,000 from his of counsel and senior adviser role at Harris Beach – the powerful law firm based near Rochester.

Some NYC Council members and several government watchdogs are now demanding greater transparency in the final stages of the city’s budget process, saying the council and the public should have at least 24 hours to read the budget documents before the council votes.

Some state senators urged Cuomo to get personally involved with the LIRR-MTA negotiations in an effort to avoid a strike on July 20.

Former Assemblyman Vito Lopez filed legal papers seeking to be tried separately from the Assembly speaker in an upcoming civil trial over a lawsuit by two woman accusing Lopez of sexual harassment and Silver of turning a blind eye to his alleged behavior.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino said the $2.2 billion – at least – windfall New York state is receiving from Monday’s settlement with France’s largest bank should be dedicated for long-term infrastructure improvements.

The public already has a distasteful view of the Legislature and with November elections approaching, the Senate’s frail power structure could become more unstable if one of the most powerful Republicans – Sen. Tom Libous, now charged with lying to the FBI – were to fall out of favor with voters.

The Legislature and Cuomo have postponed for a year one of the provisions intended to help reform New York charities by prohibiting employees from serving as chairmen of their boards of directors.

Republican Assemblyman Bill Nojay, an outspoken critic of the SAFE Act, is hosting a day-long fund-raiser later this month at a shooting range, raffling off a dozen rifles and shotguns as door prizes.

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Extras

Zephyr Teachout says she has obtained 25,100 signatures as of today in her bid to get on the primary ballot against Cuomo – nearly double the minimum amount needed.

Teachout plans to collect up to 45,000 signatures before the petitioning process ends July 10.

Sen. Tom Libous may have a GOP primary opponent: businessman Denver Jones.

Broome County GOP Chair Bijoy Datta, a former Libous aide, said the senator “will fight these charges with the same vigor with which he’s fought cancer and he’s fought for his district over his entire career.”

Former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno defended Libous as an “honorable” and “straightforward guy,” saying: “A lie is in the ears of the beholder.”

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city’s largest municipal union, DC37, have reached a tentative contract agreement that follows the pattern of raises set by the teachers union earlier this year.

IDC Leader Jeff Klein keeps collecting labor endorsements.

Sen. Dave Valesky, another IDC member, disclosed income under $5,000 for playing the organ at St. Patrick’s Church.

Former NYC Councilman and one-time LG candidate Tom Ognibene is circulating petitions to challenge Sen. Joe Addabbo.

Occupy activist Cecily McMillan, who convicted of one of the few felonies coming out of the protests, was released from jail after serving 58 days behind bars.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams declared himself a “tough cop” and a “tender borough president” on the front page of his very first newsletter.

A little over 26,000 more copies of Hillary Clinton’s book were sold in its third week – down almost 46 percent from the week prior, which was down 44 percent from the week before that.

At least eight universities have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars Clinton to speak on their campuses over the past year at a time of austerity in higher education.

Why is U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer making a federal issue out of luring a supermarket to downtown Syracuse?

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich took a swipe at former NYC Mayor Bloomberg – and his money – at the Aspen Ideas Festival.

The Wall Street Journal has cut between 20 and 40 staff members in recent weeks as part of a re-evaluation of its newsroom that came at the end of its financial year.

The New York City Opera, which closed its doors last fall after years of financial woes, could be revived in some fashion, according to attorneys working on its Chapter 11 bankruptcy case.

Tenure Track

Also from the Morning Memo:

Michael Rebell, a veteran education advocate, expressed doubt during an interview on CapTon last night that an effort to duplicate the results of a California lawsuit that overturned teacher tenure laws in that state will be equally successful here in New York.

Rebell said he’s not even sure this issue is one the courts should be addressing.

“On the one hand, the law – at least the way it’s getting enforced – does keep certain people who are not effective teachers on the job,” he explained.

“On the other hand, I think it’s a positive in terms of recruitment, job stability for teachers – and let’s face it, teaching is still a relatively low paid job. So it may be if you eliminated tenure, we would be worse off because we’d be recruiting fewer capable teachers.”

“I don’t know the answer to any of this,” Rebell continued. “And unfortunately this judge in California really didn’t either, because I don’t think he really examined all sides of the issue.”

“Kids do have a right to effective teachers, but what the best way to get that is a very complex question.”

Rebell was co-counsel for the plaintiffs in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity case, which successfully maintained that New York was shortchanging New York City public school kids when it came to providing enough funding to assure their constitutional right to a sound, basic education.

Now, Rebell is suing the state yet again over inequity in education funding – this time as executive director of a new organization called the Campaign for Educational Equity.

Former CNN anchor-turned-education reform activist Campbell Brown recently announced that her organization is providing support to six families in New York who plan to challenge teacher tenure laws in court.

Rebell said he finds it ironic that Brown and others – many of whom have accused judges of “activism” when they rule in favor of fiscal equity cases – are now involved in lawsuits that ask the court to be “much more involved in educational policy than I have ever asked for.”

Green Grades

From today’s Morning Memo:

The New York League of Conservation Voters will announce today that the state Legislature earned an overall grade of “B-” for its progress on sustainability issues for the 2014 session, which ended last month.

The NYLCV counts passage of the Community Risk and Resiliency Act as a major success this year, but is disappointed that lawmakers failed to act on the Child Safe Products Act, which would have regulated and phased out toxic chemicals in children’s products.

“The Assembly and Senate deserve credit for their work on the critical issue of climate change and adaptation,” said NYLCV President Marcia Bystryn.

“But it is truly disappointing that the Legislature could not reach consensus on efforts to get toxic chemicals out of children’s toys and products.”

“It is hard to imagine a more fundamental responsibility for our elected officials than protecting children’s health, and Albany’s inaction means our kids are still at risk.”

The Legislature didn’t fare quite so well when it came to the issue of public health, according to the NYLCV, which gave lawmakers an overall grade of “C+” in that particular sub-category.

It earned a “B” on sustainable economic development; “B” on climate change and resiliency and “B” on natural resource protection.

These grades, which are based on votes taken (or not) on bills identified as top priority by the organization at the beginning of the session, will be factored into the NYLCV’s upcoming endorsement and PAC funding decisions as the campaign season heats up.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will be speaking today at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee kick-off in Manhattan. The event is closed to members of the press.

At 10 a.m., NY-24 GOP candidate John Katko holds a press conference, Sposato Floor Covering, 109 7th North St., Liverpool.

Also at 10 a.m., Former Senate majority leader Joe Bruno, New York Petroleum Council President Karen Moreau and attorney Tom West will be on “Live from the State Capitol with Fred Dicker,” on Talk 1300 AM.

At 10:30 a.m., NYC Council members from the Bronx discuss the city’s $75 billion budget for the next fiscal year, and publicize provisions related to the borough; Fordham Road and Grand Concourse, the Bronx.

Also at 10:30 a.m., Rep. Chris Collins will hold a press conference regarding the International Joint Committee’s ruling to implement new guidelines determining the water levels of Lake Ontario, Oak Orchard Lighthouse, 14357 Ontario St., Kent.

At 11 a.m., LG Bob Duffy delivers the keynote address at a U.S. citizen naturalization swearing-in ceremony in commemoration of Independence Day, New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Celeste Bartos Forum, 5th Avenue at 42nd Street, Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., SUNY chancellor Nancy Zimpher and New York State Museum director Mark Schaming attend student archaeological dig, Pethick Archaeological Site, Smith Road, Central Bridge.

Also at 11 a.m., Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney will tour the Road Back Trauma Center, a new clinic in Middletown that treats veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, 2731 Ridge St.

Also at 11 a.m., Sen. David Carlucci sponsors a flag raising ceremony with his Veterans Advisory Committee, Lions Park, 541 Western Highway, Blauvelt.

At 1 p.m., a volunteer labor organizer convicted of assaulting a city police officer during an Occupy Wall Street demonstration in Zuccotti Park, Cecily McMillan, is expected to hold a news conference following her scheduled release from Rikers Island jail complex; 19th Avenue and Hazen Street, Queens.

Also at 1 p.m., Rep. Chris Gibson attends the opening of the Ulster County Veterans Home, 67 Wurts St., Kingston.

At 3 p.m., Gibson will join state and local officials to announce grants to local historic and cultural organizations, Wallace Visitor and Education Center, FDR Library, Albany Post Road, Hyde Park.

At 3:15 p.m., Rep. Louise Slaughter will announce a $2 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy for OLEDWorks LLC, 1645 Lyell Ave., Suite 140, Rochester.

At 5:45 p.m., Gibson will address members of the Rensselaer County Legislature, Rensselaer County Office Building, Seventh Avenue, Troy.

At 6:30 p.m., Sen. Diane Savino hosts a “Pasta & Politics” fundraiser, Da Noi Restaurant, 138 Fingerboard Rd., Staten Island.

Headlines…

Sen. Thomas Libous, the Senate Republicans’ No. 2 member, has pleaded not guilty to a federal indictment accusing him of making false statements to the FBI during its investigation of how his son Matthew Libous obtained a job with a well-connected law firm.

Matthew Libous was named in a second indictment, and also pleaded not guilty to six felony charges alleging that he failed to report income from several sources.

There are now three indicted senators in the chamber: Libous and two Democrats, both former leaders of their conference – John Sampson and Malcolm Smith.

Libous said in court that he is suffering from “terminal” cancer, but vowed to run for re-election and clear his name of the charge lodged against him.

The investigation into the allegations that Libous helped his son get a job at a politically connected law firm by promising to help steer it business first surfaced in a 2012 corruption trial. Libous denied the charges then.

Libous is an influential Albany lawmaker with close ties to both Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Last year the governor attended the wedding reception of Matthew Libous.

Libous: “I am innocent from all these charges. It’s very disappointing and we are going to fight them…I love my son, and he, too, is innocent and will fight these charges.”

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Extras

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said the Senate GOP doesn’t represent the “interests” of people after Sen. Tom Libous was charged with lying to the FBI.

Last week in Binghamton,  Gov. Andrew Cuomo praised Libous’ character and leadership, calling him “a great mentor and a great friend to me.”

The senator and his son both pleaded “not guilty” to the charges against them, bail for each was set at $50,000. The senator had to surrender his passport and BB gun.

While in court, the senator revealed that there is “no cure” for his cancer and he is terminal, adding: “I can only maintain treatment.”

Cuomo will be “personally involved” in securing the future of the Buffalo Bills in Western New York following the departure of two key administration figures assigned to the effort.

Rep. Louise Slaughter posted a BuzzFeed listicle of “10 4th of July Foods that Are America.”

NY-24 GOP candidate John Katko had his best fundraising quarter to date, but Rep. Dan Maffei still has a $1 million fundraising advantage heading into campaign season.

Hillary Clinton believes much of the media coverage about her is “inaccurate or unimportant.”

New York City will use part of its $23 million budget allotment on arts education to hire 120 arts teachers at underserved middle and high schools.

The three-member START-UP NY board unanimously approved plans for tax-free designations at Clarkson University, Columbia University, Keuka College and the University of Rochester.

Syracuse Common Councilor Jean Kessner dropped her efforts to challenge Sen. David Valesky to a primary.

Staten Island lawyer and M.T.A. board member Allen Cappelli is withdrawing his challenge for Sen. Diane Savino’s seat.

Just as New York is mulling casino license applications, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the US gaming industry from it previous “stable” outlook to “negative.”

Cuomo has talked with Elon Musk about the entrepreneur’s interest in building a solar panel innovation center in Buffalo’s Riverbend Commerce Park, but the project isn’t a done deal.

Roswell Park has been re-accredited as a nationally recognized cancer institute; Cuomo called it a “rock” of the city’s economic future.

De Blasio supports President Obama’s go-it-alone effort on immigration reform, calls current policy “absolutely ridiculous” and says the president has “every right” to go around Congress.

EJ McMahon: “(T)he 5-4 decision in the case of Harris v. Quinn casts a long, dark shadow over organized labor’s future growth prospects.”

Pete Sikora, a contender to replace retiring Brooklyn Assemblywoman Joan Millman, kicked off his campaign with NYC Councilmen Brad Lander and Steve Levin and Sen. Daniel Squadron.

Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal is introducing federal legislation that would require the US passenger and freight rail system, including Metro-North, to adopt “life-saving technology.”

DeFrancisco Won’t Rule Out ‘No’ Vote on Tappan Zee Loan

Sen. John DeFrancisco, who could single handedly kill a controversial $511 million loan to help finance projects associated with the new Tappan Zee Bridge said during an interview that will air on CapTon this evening that he has not ruled out voting “no” on transaction – especially if the Cuomo administration is not forthcoming with information about how the new bridge is being financed.

“I voted ‘no’ a lot of times on various things in the Senate,” DeFrancisco told me. “I have no compunction at all about voting ‘no’ if it’s not the proper use of money or there’s not a full financing plan, because the people should know how they’re paying for this thing, not get a bill sent to them after it’s half built and say, ‘we have no choice.’ So, I’ve gotta make sure this is done right. If I got a vote, I’m gonna use it.”

The Environmental Facilities Corp. Board of Directors voted unanimously last week to approve the loan – about of which will be at 0 percent interest – despite questions raised by environmental activists and the EPA because it would come from a revolving loan fund traditionally used to pay for local governments’ clean water and sewer improvement projects.

But before the loan can be executed, it must be approved by the three-member state Public Authorities Control Board. A “no” vote by any one member of the PAC Board, which includes DeFrancisco, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and state Budget Director Bob Megna, would be enough to scuttle this deal.

And there is precedent of board members exercising this power on high profile projects. Before DeFrancisco, former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno represented the Senate on the PAC Board, both he and Silver voted “no” in 2005 on the infamous West Side stadium project, effectively ending then-NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s dream of luring the Olympics to the Big Apple.

Silver has not yet publicly weighed in on this loan. According to his office, the matter is under review.

I asked DeFrancisco, who chairs the powerful Senate Finance Committee, if the fact that the governor – who very much wants the Tappan Zee Bridge project to be a success – has turned his back on the Republicans would influence his vote. But the senator, a Syracuse-area lawmaker, insisted that would not be the case, saying he has been trying without success to get information about the financing of this endeavor for several months now.

“When there was a discussion about the Tappan Zee Bridge, I tried to get the executive director of the Thruway Authority to tell me how they were financing the bridge and there were no answers,” DeFrancisco said. “They were going to appoint somebody and so forth. So, that’s one thing I want to get out of that meeting when it happens is that in order to decide one component of financing, you gotta know the whole financial package.”

The PAC Board is next scheduled to meet on July 16, but DeFrancisco told me he has not yet heard whether the $511 million loan will be on the agenda. He said he hopes not, because he’ll be more likely to reject the project if his questions are not answered before the vote.

My full interview with DeFrancisco will air at 8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.

Watch Here >>

SEIU 1199 All In for Regular Dems

The first item from the morning memo:

The powerful health care workers union SEIU 1199 has “pretty much jumped in” to back all five IDC members as a reward for conference leader Jeff Klein’s agreement to abandon the GOP and cut a power-sharing deal with his fellow Democrats.

That’s according to 1199′s political director Kevin Finnegan, who said he and union President George Gresham will recommend that the IDC slate be formally endorsed by 1199′s council when it meets during the third week in July.

“Then we’ll be all in,” Finnegan said during a telephone interview last night. “I don’t know what that means at this point.”

“I don’t know if it’s in the form of an independent expenditure, or contributions to the DSCC or to some sort of coorindated campaign. That all needs to be worked out. That’s sort of the second-to-last step to this working out.”

This move is certainly not a surprise, since 1199 played a key role in brokering the WFP endorsement deal for Gov. Andrew Cuomo that started the ball rolling toward the IDC-regular Democrat reunification.

And Finnegan has been clear that his union is severing ties with the Senate GOP, declining to provide the conference with any campaign cash or endorsements for the first time in more than a decade.

But the loss of 1199′s support is still a blow to the two IDC primary challengers who have yet to end their campaigns since last week’s reunification announcement: Former NYC Councilman Oliver Koppell, who is challenging Klein; and former NYC Comptroller John Liu, who is running against the IDC’s newest member, Queens Sen. Tony Avella.

Koppell and Liu also have both been endorsed by the WFP, which so far hasn’t yanked its support, but has been instrumental in the push for a Democat-controlled Senate.

Finnegan said he expects there will be push back from the 1199 council over the union’s move to abandon Liu, who has considerable support among its members.

“My union has a long and great relationship with John Liu, and we wish him the best,” a clearly uncomfortable Finnegan said. “But we’ve made compacts with folks that prevent us from endorsing him.”

“…We’re committed, and when we’re committed, we’re going to do what we always do,” Finnegan continued. “We have thousands of members in that district, and we’re going to tell them to vote for our candidate – Tony Avella.”

Of course, this isn’t a 100 percent done deal yet. And Finnegan allowed that it’s possible the council will vote to remain neutral in the Liu-Avella race, though he believes there is strong support for the reunification movement.

And what if Liu manages to eke out a victory without 1199? After all, he does still have considerable labor support, including from HTC, which is another big backer of the IDC-Democrat deal.

“John would be a welcome member to the Senate,” Finnegan said. “He’ll join the Democratic conference; it doesn’t change the numbers, so it’s not consequential.”

“We’re going to do what we said we would do…but if John wins, we’ll embrace him as part of the family.”

The deal Klein struck reportedly also calls for IDC-supported primary challengers to regular Democrats to stand down.

For example, former NYC Councilman Fernando Cabrera (a former Republican) is campaigning to oust his fellow Democrat, Sen. Gustavo Rivera, in the Bronx; while in Buffalo, Sen. Tim Kennedy is fighting the second challenge in two years mounted by Erie County Legislature Minority Leader Betty Jean Grant, who is backed by the local Democratic Party.

As far as I can tell, those two challenges still stand, so it looks like there’s still some kinks to be worked out in the grand Democratic Senate takeover deal.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press office has not yet released his public schedule (if there is one) for the day.

At 8 a.m., the Business Council and the Center for Economic Growth host a forum on sustaining and growing middle-market companies, The Desmond, 660 Albany Shaker Rd., Colonie.

At 9 a.m., gun control advocates from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America’s city chapter deliver postcards to a district office of Rep. Michael Grimm, as part of a campaign organized by the group and the organization Everytown for Gun Safety; 7308 13th Ave., Brooklyn.

At 9:30 a.m., Chemung County Sheriff and GOP LG candidate Chris Moss speaks at the American Legion Boys State Conference, Recreation Center Building, Morrisville State College, Morrisville.

At 10 a.m., Westchester County Executive and GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino will be on “Live from the State Capitol with Fred Dicker.”

Also at 10 a.m., Brooklyn BP Eric Adams will join transit advocates and local leaders as they “welcome back” B37 bus service, which was cut by the MTA in 2010, corner of 3rd Avenue and Senator Street, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

Also at 10 a.m., Sen. Adriano Espaillat, NYC and community officials including Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, MTA representatives and residents mark changes in the M100 bus route during a ribbon-cutting ceremony; Nagle Avenue and Dyckman Street, Manhattan.

At 10:30 a.m., the NYC Independent Budget Office digitally releases its third annual report with facts and statistics related to the city’s public schools. Get the report here: http://www.ibo.nyc.ny.us/.

At 11:15 a.m., Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney – joined by Sen. Bill Larkin, New Windsor Town Supervisor George Green and Mike Finnegan, owner of Continental Organics – announces legislation to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program, Continental Organics, 320 Mt. Airy Rd., New Windsor.

At 11:30 a.m., Moss meets with local leaders at Cortlandville Town Hall, 3577 Terrace Rd., Cortland.

Also at 11:30 a.m., GOP AG candidate John Cahill and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis meet with parents of children attending religious schools, St. Joseph’s Parochial School, 139 Saint Mary’s Ave., Staten Island.

At noon, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina and Comptroller Scott Stringer make an announcement, Bronx Museum of the Arts, 1040 Grand Concourse, the Bronx.

At 1:30 p.m., Moss meets with representatives from the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, 132 Washington St., Binghamton.

At 3:30 p.m., Moss attends a meet-and-greet in Tioga County, Parkview Restaurant, 145 Front St., Owego.

Also at 3:30 p.m., de Blasio holds hearings and signs Intro 12-A and Intro 389 into law, Blue Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

At 5 p.m., 41st Senate District candidate Sue Serino hosts “Serino4NY” fundraiser, 4290 Albany Post Rd., Hyde Park.

At 6 p.m., de Blasio hosts the NYC Department of Education’s valedictorian and salutatorian BBQ 2014, Gracie Mansion, 88th Street and East End Avenue, Manhattan.

At 7:30 p.m., Israel’s Consul General in New York Ido Aharoni and Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Jerrold Nadler speak during a community memorial service for three teenagers kidnapped in Israel on Thursday, June 12, whose bodies were found yesterday; The Jewish Center, 131 W. 86th St., Manhattan.

Headlines…

Gambling companies and real-estate developers submitted a total of 17 bids in the high-stakes competition to win a casino license upstate. A total of 22 application fees were submitted in April, with some groups paying for more than one project. Five proposals were abandoned.

With promises of luxury hotels, conference centers, adventure parks and thousands of jobs, as well as slot machines and poker tables, several of the proposals in the region closest to New York City top $1 billion.

Former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno has formally asked the state for $2,419,200.45 to cover legal bills associated with a pair of federal corruption trials, a spokesman for Attorney General Eric Schneiderman confirmed. The request is under review.

The FEC has asked Sen. Adriano Espaillat to address alleged excessive campaign contributions and discrepancies in filings for his unsuccessful bid to unseat Rep. Charles Rangel, while Rangel needs to provide additional information from a PAC affiliated with him.

“More than ever, Harlem is less a clearly identified voting bloc than an idea. A brand.”

New York state’s highest court struck a blow for home rule and against fracking, deciding that municipalities can use zoning laws to ban the natural-gas extraction method that has fueled a U.S. energy boom.

Several hundred anti-fracking protestors demonstrated outside Cuomo’s high-dollar fundraiser at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan last night.

In Pennsylvania’s gas drilling boom, newer and unconventional wells leak far more often than older and traditional ones, according to a study of state inspection reports for 41,000 wells.

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