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Sound Bites: NY’s Equal Rights Amendment is back on November ballot

McArthur Myers fills out his ballot at an early voting.
Andrew Harnik
McArthur Myers fills out his ballot at an early voting.

Good morning — An appellate panel has restored a ballot proposition to let New Yorkers decide this November whether to enshrine access to abortion care and ban discrimination based on gender identity by amending the state Constitution. 

Tuesday’s ruling overturns a May ruling by a state Supreme Court judge that struck down the Equal Rights Amendment due to a procedural error by the State Legislature. However, the appeals court said in its decision that those who sought to block the ballot referendum missed the deadline for bringing the lawsuit.

“The ERA was advanced to protect access to abortion care, enshrine this basic right in our constitution, and protect people from discrimination. We will continue to do everything in our power to protect these rights and ensure everyone can live safely and freely,” State Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement.

New Yorkers can check the back of the ballot to vote on the proposition.

Here’s a bite sized-look at what else we’re hearing:

The Bridgeport Pride Center’s grand opening is Thursday. Advocates hope the new center will help LGBTQ+ youth feel safe. The lease for the center at 166 Elm Street was signed in February. The center is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. but will have around-the-clock emergency services available.

More than a dozen theaters are urging Connecticut to release millions of dollars in American Rescue Plan Act funding they were promised. In early May, the theaters were notified by the state that the federal money was ready to be disbursed. By the end of the month, those funds had been reallocated, and the theaters were told they would receive little money instead, if at all. Theater owners say they were still facing hardships post-pandemic and called for their funding to be restored. The state Office of Policy and Management may be able to steer money to theaters and arts organizations in the fall if other priorities come in under budget.

Air traffic controllers on Long Island rallied against a federal move to transfer them to Philadelphia. Reps. Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY) and Tom Suozzi (D-NY) joined the 17 employees and their families on Tuesday to preserve jobs at the N90 TRACON facility in Westbury. The Federal Aviation Administration announced their plans to employees in May to shift their operations monitoring the Newark Airspace to Philadelphia. The agency was thwarted from doing this last year, too.

Hundreds of residents have filed complaints to U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney about junk fees when buying tickets. The state’s congressional delegation has sponsored federal bills that would force ticket companies to disclose extra fees up front. The bill Courtney (D-CT) sponsored passed by a wide margin in the House. Last year, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced a bill that would regulate extra fees associated with bookings like hotel stays, concert tickets, and internet plans. Connecticut’s attorney general has also signed onto a multi-state lawsuit against the ticket company Live Nation.

“Shinnecock Speaks” is an exhibition that spotlights the culture and history of the Shinnecock tribe through art. Notable tribal members will participate in the exhibition and a dialog about Indigenous perspectives. Ma’s House & BIPOC Art Studio will feature twenty-seven contemporary Shinnecock artists. Artists will discuss the challenges and stereotypes of historically marginalized Indigenous perspectives within the art world. The exhibition is from July 7 to Sept. 7. Appointment is required.

New Haven has only one pool open for families looking to beat the heat at Hillhouse High School this summer. The other four pools maintained by the public school system are closed for repairs. The city’s youth recreation director says there are 15 splash pads open through the summer from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day.

Eda Uzunlar and Jeniece Roman contributed reporting…

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A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.