Assembly OKs NYC schools deal, Mario Cuomo bridge name

Mayoral control of schools in New York City would be renewed for another two years and the new Tappan Zee Bridge would be named after the late Gov. Mario Cuomo under legislation approved by the New York state Assembly early Thursday.

The bill also extends local sales taxes, offers aid to upstate New Yorkers impacted by recent floods and reduces the state’s take from a struggling upstate race track casino.

The state Senate is expected to consider the bill later Thursday. Passage would likely end the special session called earlier this week by Mario Cuomo’s son, the current Gov. Andrew Cuomo, after lawmakers failed to reach agreement on mayoral control of schools before ending their regular session last week.

The 15-year-old policy giving New York City’s mayor control of city schools will expire Friday if lawmakers don’t renew it.

The proposal to name the new span over the Hudson River the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge surfaced only last week as lawmakers sought to end their session. The elder Cuomo was governor from 1983 to 1994 and died in 2015. His son pushed to build the new bridge to replace the current, aging Hudson River crossing, formally named the Gov. Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge.