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1010 WINS Poll: Should New York be split into two states?

February 11, 2019 - 12:56 pm

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Should New York be divided into two different states?

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A decades-old debate is getting new life, thanks to a non-binding referendum introduced by State Assemblyman Steve Hawley, WIVB-TV reports.

"Spending is the issue, mandates are the issue, fees and philosophies of government are the issues and I think we're very, very different, upstate New York and Western New York in particular," Hawley said.

He says if the referendum passes, it will be on voters to decide how to proceed. Hawley says it would start with a ballot question, asking whether New York should be divided into two states. He says studies would also need to be done to see if it would be feasible.

"I think it's something we ought to ask folks about. Many of these propositions that are pushed on us from New York City have nothing to do with the rest of the state of New York," he said.

Hawley says the question is prompted by 'controversial items' including a newly passed abortion bill, the dream act, and gun control.

Democratic Assemblyman Sean Ryan says without New York City, western New York wouldn't survive.

"From an economic perspective, it would be very bad for western New York. A huge portion of our tax revenue, income taxes come from New York City millionaires, it would cripple us from revenues," he said.

Hawley says he wants to bring the legislation to a floor vote.