NEW YORK (WETM) – The rift between upstate and downstate New York could finally divide the state for good, thanks to a proposal from state lawmakers that would split New York into three separate, autonomous regions.
“We’re trying to somehow get folks to realize that New York is not the Empire State any longer. We’ve lost our way,” Republican Assemblyman Steve Hawley said.
The proposal, supported by Hawley, would divide New York into three separate governments: The “New York Region,” the “Montauk Region” and the “New Amsterdam Region,” which includes all of upstate New York. Lawmakers tell 18 News the goal behind the bill is to better serve the people of New York State.
“The rest of New York State is totally under the thumb of New York City,” Republican Assemblyman David DiPietro said. “New York City controls every dollar and every aspect that happens in Western New York. It’s a totally different culture [here] than it is in New York City.”
The proposal, however, faces a financial battle, particularly because much of New York State’s revenue comes from the city.
“I think there’s a lot of questions that come up when it from a financial perspective,” Republican Assemblyman Philip Palmesano said. “15 to 20-percent of our state revenue right now comes from Wall Street. We have to take that into consideration.
Even if all goes as planned and flaws in the bill are resolved, Palmesano says getting the legislation passed will be a battle.