ALBANY -- It's a debate that has raged for decades: Should New York become two states? And once again, some state lawmakers have introduced a bill that would allow counties to hold a referendum on whether the state should be separated into upstate and downstate. The measure has gone nowhere in the Legislature and most likely never will, but Sen. Joseph Robach, R-Greece, Monroe County, and Assemblyman Stephen Hawley, R-Batavia, Genesee County, have submitted it again this year, saying the idea is something that voters should be allowed to weigh in on. The bill has made its way onto the Assembly Local Governments Committee agenda on Tuesday. "It's an interesting scenario. I think people ought to have a chance to take a look at it," Hawley said. While the bill doesn't indicate where upstate would begin, Hawley said he would characterize it as anything north of Westchester County. The bill would allow a county legislature to decide whether to hold a referendum before the end of 2012 to ask voters: "Do you support the division of New York into two separate states?" The results would be non-binding and the measure would then face a host of other likely insurmountable obstacles. The state Legislature would have to approve it, and then it would require an act of Congress to make upstate its own state. Upstate leaders have long complained that downstate officials treat them unfairly. The issue became more pronounced the last two years when Democrats from New York City controlled all state government. But Republicans regained control of the Senate this year, and most of their members are from Long Island and upstate. Robach, now back in the majority, said the issue is still worth investigating, saying upstate might be able to do well if it had its own leadership. "I think the policies on job creation, taxes, everything, would be very different and certainly worth looking at," said Robach, who said he is also pushing a bill that would allow the public to put a whole host of measures on the ballot. Senate Democrats knocked Republicans for having misplaced priorities. "In these difficult fiscal times, we should be focused on unifying New York to solve its problems, not tearing it apart," said Austin Shafran, spokesman for the Senate Democratic Conference. Studies have shown that upstate would struggle without New York City's revenue. A report from the Rochester-based Center For Governmental Research in 2004 found that New York City's net contribution to the rest of the state was $11 billion and as much as $2.5 billion from the Hudson Valley. But Robach and Hawley said those numbers may not be applicable now because of the struggles on Wall Street. Hawley said he has reached out to local colleges to see if they would be interested in studying the issue. The upstate-downstate divide is also a sensitive one. Just last week, Buffalo officials blasted New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg after he said Buffalo has a lot of "free space ... if you want to go there. I don't think you do." He later apologized to Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.
Originally posted by Sounds_of_Silence
How about as many as the corporate and the religious world see fit, then we could segregate everyone, have an area for the white collars and the blue collars and then have the Christian white collars and then the blue collars then have it the same for the other religious denominations. Harmony at last...that mosque sure divided a lot of people.
I'm Australian.edit on 21-3-2011 by Sounds_of_Silence because: (no reason given)
Originally posted by jaynkeel
It's time to cut the big city loose and the politicians that go with it. Anyone else from NY feel the same?
Originally posted by jaynkeel
reply to post by sterlingmoon
How about some nice Costanza rolls!!! I fully agree there will be things food wise I would absolutely miss, but year round warmth and sunshine is a better deal in my opinion. Oh and far less taxes.