Albany, N.Y. – A proposal in the New York State Legislature is calling for the state to be split into three regions.
The proposal would break the state into three autonomous areas: The New York Region, the Montauk Region and the New Amsterdam Region. Each region would have specific governors and legislators, and the bill divides up various agencies and departments. Each region would have separate court and prison systems, and the proposal “provides only for a state sales tax”.
The bill is sponsored by Assemblyman David DiPietro of the 147th Assembly District – which covers a portion of Wyoming County – and co-sponsored by Peter Lawrence of the 134th State Assembly District and Brian Manktelow of the 130th Assembly District. Assembly members Marjorie Byrnes, Stephen Hawley and Brian Kolb are listed as multi-sponsors. They are all Republicans.
The current Assembly bill is currently in the committee phase.
The State Senate version of the bill is sponsored by Senator Rob Ortt of the 62nd District. Co-sponsors include Senators George Borrello, Pam Helming, Daphne Jordan, Michael Ranzenhofer and Thomas O'Mara.
The Senate version is currently in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The motion to break New York into separate regions is not a new proposal. Last year, Hawley proposed breaking the state into two regions.
Unlike past measures, this bill would create a constitutional amendment to divide the state, meaning New York would consist of those three regions, each acting independent of one another.
With a 4 percent tax cap, Divide New York's Western New York coordinator, Richard Bitter, Jr., says each region would reap what they sow.
"We would become a more free people, able to decide our destiny, rather than somebody who lives on the corner of Park and 71st, who's never seen a live cow," he said.
The proposal would leave legislative districts virtually untouched, but each region would have its own comptroller, attorney general and even governor - with one in title only, because the constitution requires the position.
Because the measure would change the constitution, it would have to pass the Legislature next year and again in 2023 before voters would have a say.
A spokesperson for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office released the following response Monday to the proposed legislation:
"The fact that small politicians are once again pushing this un-serious, ignorant and pander-filled press release of a bill may be the surest sign yet that things are getting back to normal. But still, stay smart, socially distance, wear a mask and wash your hands."