Cuomo inks bill to honor longtime assemblyman

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ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Friday signed legislating designating a portion of the state highway system — part of Route 13 in Madison County — as “Assemblyman William ‘Bill’ Magee Memorial Highway.”

He passed away on Dec. 24, 2020.

“Assemblyman Bill Magee served his community and his state for decades, and we will always remember his staunch advocacy for farmers and rural New Yorkers,” Cuomo said. “This portion of Route 13 near Assemblyman Magee’s lifelong home will honor his contributions to his constituents and work as chair of the Assembly’s Agriculture Committee for many years to come.”

Magee was sworn into the state Assembly in 1990, representing Madison County and parts of Otsego and Oneida Counties. He worked to bridge the gap between upstate and downstate legislators. As Chair of the New York State Assembly Agriculture Committee, Magee advocated for the successful craft brewing and wine industries, the growth of equine programs, improved farm safety and agriculture in the classroom, officials said.

“It is only fitting that the stretch of Route 13 that runs through Madison County will be named after Assemblymember Bill Magee,” said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, D-83, Bronx. “Bill Magee was a lifelong Madison County resident, a voice for his constituents in Central New York and a strong advocate for our state’s agricultural industry. I was lucky to know Bill and count him as a friend. His legacy will live on in the lives and livelihoods that he helped, and now in the Assemblymember William ‘Bill’ Magee Highway.”

“We are truly honored to have our bill dedicating a section of highway in Cazenovia to Bill signed into law by the governor,” said Assemblyman John Salka, R-121, Brookfield. “Assemblyman Bill Magee was a great legislator, friend of our farmers and first responders, and did so much for the citizens of our communities. Bill loved his district and will always be remembered for his steadfast advocacy for the people.”

Magee lived in the town of Nelson his entire life, at one point serving as town supervisor. Magee also worked at the State Fair and as an auctioneer. He grew up serving his neighbors in Erieville from his family’s dairy farm and country store before graduating from Cornell University.

Sen. Rachel May, D-53, Syracuse, added: “Assemblyman Magee was a fierce advocate for the constituents and for agriculture in New York State. His staff and colleagues describe a man who was smart, humble, and committed. His unwavering response to every challenge was “how can I help?” He left those that follow him with big shoes to fill, and I am grateful to him for all of the work he did. I am proud to be able to play a part in honoring his public service, and thank the governor for signing this bill.”State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “The designation of the “Assemblyman William ‘Bill’ Magee Memorial Highway” is a great testament to Assemblyman Magee, who was a tireless advocate for New York farmers and a true friend of agriculture. I’m grateful to Governor Cuomo for honoring Bill in this special way and memorializing his legacy of friendship and cooperation, and his many accomplishments that helped move New York agriculture forward.”

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