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NY Legislature Considering Restoring "Tappan Zee" Name in Session's Remaining 2 Weeks

ALBANY- A bill that would restore that “Tappan Zee” name to the bridge that spans the Hudson River between Rockland and Westchester counties is expected to come for a vote in the State Senate in the coming days.

On Thursday, the bill which is sponsored by State Senator James Skoufis (D, Cornwall), was on the rules committee agenda. Oftentimes, end of legislative session priority bills make their way to a full vote through the rules committee.

“I look forward to this bill being taken up for a full vote in the Senate next week and a discussion with colleagues about why restoration of the Tappan zee name is the right move,” said Skoufis.

The replacement span was renamed in 2017 by then-Governor Andrew Cuomo after his father, who was also a former Governor, Mario Cuomo. After the renaming, there was significant local pushback, with more than 263,000 signatures collected on an online petition to restore the span’s former name. Governor Andrew Cuomo came under criticism by many in the legislature who alleged he strong-armed the renaming without any public input or debate.

Former Assemblyman, now Congressman Mike Lawler (R, Pearl River) and former State Senator Mike Martucci (R, New Hampton) first entered the bill last legislative session; however, their measure failed to advance. Today’s (Thursday’s) committee vote represents significant advancement of the measure.

Skoufis, a Democrat, now sponsors the legislation along with Republican Assemblyman John McGowan from Pearl River. Skoufis’ support of the bill is significant in that he is a member of the state’s legislative majority and his support measurably increases the bill’s chances of advancing.

“While there are certainly more urgent priorities, the way in which the former Governor jammed this name change down the throats of my Hudson Valley constituents has remained a grievance for many local residents. Legislators can walk and chew gum and reclaim historically significant bridge names. It will always be the Tappan Zee and I encourage the Assembly to reconsider this measure,” said Skoufis.

It is unclear whether or not the Assembly plans to take up the bill for a vote before the end of legislative session, which would be necessary prior to Governor Kathy Hochul to considering the measure. Last year, the Assembly failed to discharge the bill from committee, preventing it from coming for a full vote.

Source: Mid-Hudson News

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