ALBANY — Legislation in both the state Assembly and Senate seeks to divide New York State into three autonomous regions through a Constitutional amendment.
The legislation currently sits in the judiciary committee, and is co-sponsored by Sen. Tom O’Mara, R-Elmira, and Sen. James Seward, R-Oneonta.
Generally speaking, the bill proposes a constitutional amendment to divide the state into three self-governing regions — the New Amsterdam Region for upstate, the New York Region for the city and the Montauk Region, for Nassau, Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester counties.
The bill aims to give resolution to a long and widely held contentious topic that different regions within the state are a burden on others as it comes to fiscal and representational issues.
The bill aims to retain the state government, but reduce its size and scope to a 3 percent sales tax and state-wide issues such as: National Guard, retirement and social security, civil service, Court of Appeals, State Court of Claims, and State Judicial Conduct.
Any laws and legislation not under the above umbrella would become regional laws, to be decided upon by the respective regional senate and assembly representatives.
The bill clarifies that regional representatives would continue to serve at the state legislative level for state-wide issues.
Additionally, the bill would require that each region have an elected regional governor, regional lieutenant governor and regional secretary of state.
If the legislation passes both the assembly and senate — bills A05498 and S5416, respectively — the question would be posed as a statewide ballot referendum.
More information on the proposed legislation can be found at DivideNY.org, or by searching for the above bill numbers on the respective state legislative website.