Rockland County, NY – A bill seeking to reinstate the iconic “Tappan Zee” name to the bridge spanning the Hudson River between Rockland and Westchester counties is slated for a vote in the State Senate in the coming days.
Sponsored by State Senator James Skoufis (D, Cornwall), the bill was included on the rules committee agenda on Thursday, a common pathway for priority bills nearing the end of the legislative session.
Skoufis expressed his anticipation, stating, “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.”
Originally renamed in 2017 by former Governor Andrew Cuomo in honor of his father, former Governor Mario Cuomo, the replacement span faced substantial local opposition. Over 263,000 signatures were collected through an online petition advocating for the restoration of the bridge’s original name. Governor Andrew Cuomo received criticism from many legislators, who argued that the renaming occurred without public input or debate.
Last legislative session, the bill was initially introduced by former Assemblyman, now Congressman Mike Lawler (R, Pearl River), and former State Senator Mike Martucci (R, New Hampton). However, their measure failed to advance. Thursday’s committee vote marks a significant step forward for the bill.
Skoufis, a Democrat, now sponsors the legislation alongside Republican Assemblyman John McGowan from Pearl River. Skoufis’ support carries weight as a member of the state’s legislative majority, bolstering the bill’s chances of advancement.
Skoufis explained, “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.”