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Gov. Cuomo quietly drops stretch limo ban amid opposition

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has rolled back his proposed ban on stretch limousines after limo owners said it would have put the industry out of business in New York.

In his state budget proposal last month, Cuomo had proposed a measure that would prevent the state from registering limousines that had been “stretched” after market, a process in which a vehicle is cut in half and elongated.

But Cuomo dramatically scaled back the proposal earlier this month, instead allowing the state to register stretch limos if they comply with federal rules.

Cuomo’s original proposal came in the months following a deadly limousine crash in the town of Schoharie, about 30 miles west of Albany.

The October crash left 20 dead — including 17 passengers, the driver and two bystanders — after the limo careened past a stop sign and into a parked SUV.

Limos operators said they were pleased Cuomo reconsidered the outright ban, saying it would have severely hurt their operations.

“I think it’s a big mistake to take a driver- and maintenance-related accident and relate it to all the industry and all the drivers. It’s just not the right approach,” said Avik Kabessa, CEO of Carmel Car & Limo, based in Manhattan.

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