BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Senate has voted to establish a Department of Public Health ALS registry named after former Gov. Paul Cellucci.

The amendment to the Senate's version of the state budget would create the Argeo Paul Cellucci Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Registry.

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

More than 5,600 people are diagnosed with ALS every year. The average life expectancy of a person with ALS is two to five years from the time of diagnosis.

Cellucci was diagnosed with ALS in 2011.

Cellucci served as a state lawmaker before being elected lieutenant governor in 1991 on a ticket with fellow Republican William Weld.

Cellucci was elected governor in 1999 and served until 2001 when he was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Canada.