Senator Charles J. Fuschillo Jr. announced that the New York State Senate passed a bill he introduced to dedicate the Meadowbrook State Parkway as "The Norman J. Levy Memorial Highway." The naming is one of ceremonial nature with the official name to remain the Meadowbrook State Parkway. Signs will be erected displaying "The Norman J. Levy Memorial Highway" on both northbound and southbound lanes.
"This is a truly fitting tribute to a man who worked so hard and accomplished so much for every aspect of Long Island's transportation system from the parkways, to the railroad, to bicycle paths," Fuschillo said. "As Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, Senator Levy introduced and enacted the first seat belt law in the nation, passed many of the Anti-DWI laws, authored the bicycle helmet law for children, and passed significant school bus and highway safety legislation."
"I am honored to have been elected to serve as senator, in the district that for more than 27 years Senator Levy committed to make Long Island and New York State a better and safer place to live, work and enjoy," Fuschillo said.
Fuschillo presided over the New York State Senate on June 2, when the Senate passed a resolution celebrating the life of the late Senator Norman J. Levy. Legislators of both parties, who served with Senator Levy during his more than 27 years in the Senate, shared their joys, memories and experiences having worked with one of the greatest humanitarians ever elected to the New York State Legislature.
Senator Levy's wife, Joy, his family, friends and many of his former staff members were present in the Senate Chambers for this truly fitting memorial service.
I am honored to join in on the tribute of the life of the late Senator Norman J. Levy. I had the privilege of knowing Senator Levy for many years as a friend, neighbor and mentor.
As a resident of his district, I observed him put a face on government. He made government work and he made it work hard for all who needed its help. He was a no-nonsense legislator, pulling out all of the stops when he had a vision to improve our quality of life.
The idea for the nation's first seat belt law was Senator Levy's and when first introduced, was a difficult battle. Senator Levy knew it was right. He persevered, won and now New York State's law has been replicated across the nation. On countless roadways we see signs that read "Buckle Up - It Saves Lives." To those signs we should add "Thank you, Senator Levy," for the countless number of lives he has saved.
Senator Levy protected our children by enacting school bus safety legislation and the bicycle helmet law.
Ten days ago, my son fell off of his bicycle and was complaining of chest pains. My wife and I immediately rushed him to the hospital where the doctor asked if his helmet was cracked. I later asked the doctor about his opinion of the helmet law. He answered that without it, thousands more children would suffer head injuries.
As Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, Senator Levy followed in the footsteps of the late Robert Moses as the chief architect and prime mover of New York State's highway and bridge rebuilding programs which continue to make our transportation system safer and more efficient.
When I recently had the honor to run for Senator Levy's Senate seat, one frequent comment to me was "You have big shoes to fill." Recently, I attended a dinner for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation with Joy Levy and my colleague Senator Michael Balboni. We presented a grant to the Foundation in memory of Norman and Senator Balboni said it best. "For the past eight years Senator Levy presented this grant by himself, now it takes two of us to attempt to do the work of Senator Levy."
At the memorial service of Senator Levy at the Merrick Jewish Center, a family friend so appropriately stated, "In his 27 plus years in elected office, never was there an unkind word said about Norman Levy." This is an accomplishment unlikely to be duplicated by a public servant as effective as Senator Levy.
The Merrick Life recently printed an editorial demonstrating how large an icon Senator Levy was, stating, "Never since John F. Kennedy died, has there been such a desire to name parks, schools and even parkways for a statesman who died in his prime.
Joy, let me thank you for allowing us to be a part of Norman's life. For he has forever enriched my life and the lives of his constituents throughout the 8th Senate District and throughout our nation.