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January 30, 2019 - 5:19pm

Hawley is asking residents statewide if they'd prefer 'Two New Yorks'

posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, legislation, Two New Yorks, news, A.1687.

Press release from Assemblyman Steve Hawley, 139th Assembly District: 

As a result of the high flux of controversial legislation that has passed the Assembly in recent weeks including expanding abortion, free college for illegal aliens and stricter gun control, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) has written Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) requesting that his "Two New Yorks" legislation be passed through committee and come to the house floor for a full vote.

“This is an idea that has been discussed for many years, and one which is especially popular throughout Upstate New York,” Hawley said. “It has become abundantly clear in recent years that the New York City voting bloc has forgotten Upstate and is imposing their radical left-wing agenda on all of us, whether we like it or not.

"And that is deeply troubling. This bill simply gives citizens a say on the direction of their state. If Downstate politicians really don’t need upstate, as many of them claim, then there’s no harm in at least asking the question if we should be divided.”

Hawley's Jan. 29th letter to Speaker Heastie reads:

I am respectfully requesting you to help facilitate reporting my legislation, A.1687, out of the Local Governments Committee on to the floor for a vote.

A.1687 would provide for a non-binding referendum on the questions "Should New York be divided into two States?" to ascertain from our constituents their thoughts on the division of New York into two separate states. This bill would help us and out citizens to gauge the support, or lack of supports, for this initiative.

I have received a myriad of contacts on this issue -- especially in light of the measures that have been jettisoned through the Legislature in the past two weeks. Many believe we already have "Two New Yorks."

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Annette Lazarevic
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I am all for two states! Do not like the current extreme liberal bills that have passed. Current taxes Extremely high. Adding free education for illegals while my child and several friends have 10 years of school loans is absolutely not in the interest of WNY residents!! Taxes will skyrocket! Two states or time for me to leave NYS!

Judith Piscitello
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Downstate politicians are voting in direct opposition to upstate values. It’s time for us to have a voice that can be heard! I am appalled at the so-called Reproductive Health Act extending the murderous Roe v Wade decision we have been trying to repeal since it’s inception! Add to that legislation using taxpayer dollars not only for abortions but also for college education for ILLEGAL aliens*! My vote is a resounding YES for A 1687!
*“Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent— both are detestable to the Lord.”
Proverbs 17:15

david spaulding
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Steve, let me tell you something, this idea you have has already been thought of. Ok? It went no where. It's not going to happen. Please listen to me, It's not going to happen. Stop wasting time with these old ideas and tell us what you found out with the higher fuel prices in Batavia.

Justin Burger
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Even if you were to split NY into 2 states, you still have The medium population cities of Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany, not to mention the North Country (St.Lawrence, Franklin, Clinton, and Essex Counties) all voting heavily blue. There would still be enough votes to keep upstate blue, maybe not in all votes, but it wouldn't be a 180 degree political turnaround that most yes votes would expect.

On top of that, Upstate NY gets back more in funding from the state than it puts in. This article breaks it down pretty well: https://www.politifact.com/new-york/statements/2016/oct/14/chris-jacobs/...
What this means is, unless the new state jacked up taxes on the citizens, things would suffer. Schools would be underfunded, infrastructure couldn't be up-kept, social programs of every type would be drastically cut or eliminated, and forget about getting the cheap/free quality SUNY education that we enjoy right now.

But, hey, by all means, let's become the 51st and poorest state in the nation.

Jay Terkel
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The Supreme Court ruled against redrawing voting districts for the sole reason of swaying elections. That is the only reason people want to separate New York. There is no logical reason to do it. This thinking is a waste of time for an elected official.

Randy Sliker
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The Lack of Political Voice and freedom is the reason I Moved OUT of NY state , My Votes mean Nothing ,,Even If "My" Guy wins hes so outnumbered By the NYC Liberals Its a wasted vote on my part ,,The Taxes and weather were Just the icing on the cake ..Western NY is more like North Pa. Than NY down state!! Those who oppose the split Like the Mindset of the NYC Liberals in Manhattan.. and overbearing regulations against freedom !

Howard B. Owens
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Actually, the Supreme Court has so far failed to outlaw gerrymandering.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-sideste...

Though there are other cases working through the process that the court may hear but right now, gerrymandering is legal.

The case that really hurt New York's balance of power was Reynolds v. Sims in 1964.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reynolds_v._Sims

This is why we don't have one state senator per county, as we should have. Upstate/rural votes would be much more fairly represented in the Legislature if each county had its own senator, leaving the Assembly to apportioned representation, to ensure large population centers had balanced representation.

As New York demonstrates, the needs, interests, and views of urban and rural voters are starkly different. The current system is patently unfair to rural voters. It puts us under the boot of urban voters. If Reynolds can't be overturned, then two states seems like the only possible answer. Of course, both seem impossibly unlikely.

I note that the only people who argue against two states are progressives who are quite happy that NYC sets the agenda for the rest of the state. They refuse to look at the issue dispassionately from the perspective of their conservative neighbors.

Teresa Doran
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I really hope this goes through! Many of us in Western NY are tired of most of the money going to NY City, as well as the voting not representing us. We are against legislation that he passed about the abortions, free college for illegal aliens etc. Cuomo does not represent me as well as many of my friends and family. Why is he allowed the power to push his agenda when most New Yorkers don’t want what he’s pushing. I use to be proud to be a New Yorker and to say I was from NY. Now when commercials come on that day I’ve NY, I cringe. I really hope you can get this passed Mr Hawkey!

Tim Miller
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Many will say "yes"... and you know what, if you asked them if they would like unicorns that pooped gold bars they'd say "yes", too. Both are equally as likely to happen.

Think about it - splitting NY into two states would mean that what was NY would then have FOUR senators, not just two. Great for what was NY, but there is no way the rest of the states would agree. I mean, California has folks thinking of splitting the up into four states. Would NY residents agree to giving Cal EIGHT senators? Does anybody really believe that Idaho, N Dakota, S Dakota, Iowa, and other small states that currently hold a (Constitutionally given) disproportionate strength in the Senate would willingly give up that strength to California residents?

Ain't gonna happen.

Howard B. Owens
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New York wouldn't have four senators. There would be only one New York with two senators and a new state with two senators. One of those states would be purple and become an important swing state. That would appeal to both red and blue states around the nation. Same applies to California.

Rich Richmond
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I agree with you, Tim; breaking New York into two separate States is not likely to happen. Although, not impossible, it’s highly improbable and at best wishful thinking.

It’s parallel to thinking socialism is a viable and benevolent form of government promoting equality, individual freedom, and economic growth.

David Damico
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As a liberal living in upstate, I find the scenery charming and restful. I live here, not because I am in the majority but because I like the geography. I do not see why there needs to be a divide. That would make upstate into a conservative Disneyland. Can't the majority live with *some* people who think differently?

Howard B. Owens
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It's not a matter of living with those who think differently. It's a matter of not having their boots ground into your neck.

John Roach
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David, it would not end up a conservative Disneyland, because you would still have the large upstate cities like Buffalo, Rochester and Albany. But I do think the ultra liberal bent would end. I also don't see it happing anytime soon. We know Long Island would love to leave, along with Staten Island. Fun to think about.

Tim Miller
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Howard - I believe you misread my comment about 4 senators. I did not write that the portion that remained "New York" would have 4 senators - I stated "splitting NY into two states would mean that what was NY would then have FOUR senators,".

Ray Richardson
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Wait a minute, let's believe it could really happen. The governor's race in West New York would be Chris Collins against Carl Paladino. No thank you please.

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