Legislators propose splitting upstate and downstate - again
A state senator and assemblyman have once again introduced legislation that would cut New York into two states. Joseph Spector reports for Gannett that Assembly sponsor Stephen Hawley says the new state would include the counties north of Westchester County:
The results would be non-binding and the measure would then face other likely insurmountable obstacles. The state Legislature would have to approve it, and then it would require an act of Congress to make upstate its own state. [Senate sponsor Joe] Robach said upstate might do well with its own leadership. "The policies on job creation, taxes, everything, would be very different and certainly worth looking at." Austin Shafran, spokesman for the Senate Democratic Conference, responded: "We should be focused on unifying New York to solve its problems, not tearing it apart."
Mike Whittemore at the State of Politics blog has the back and forth over regional economic councils, between Binghamton area state senator Tom Libbous and Shafran. The governor included 10 regional funding councils for economic development in his budget; the Republican senate killed it in theirs, and the fate of the concept is currently up in the air. Libbous says politicians are better at doling out dollars and Shafran says Republicans are favoring their own interest over that of New York.
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