Legislator suggests dividing New York into 2 states

A state assemblyman is proposing a referendum to split New York into two states, WGRB reported.

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Steve Hawley, R-Batavia, floated the idea of a nonbinding referendum in a Jan. 29 letter to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.

"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 told WIVB.

If Hawley’s referendum passes, it would go before voters in New York. He said the referendum was in response to legislation proposed by the “radical left wing” in New York City, which has included measures about gun control and controversial abortion measures.

"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," Hawley told WRGB. "And that is deeply troubling."

Hawley’s proposed question for the ballot would read, “Should New York be divided into two states?” the television station reported.

"I think it's something we ought to ask folks about," Hawley told WIVB. "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."

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