New Yorkers May Vote to Split State Away from New York City
There is a very real chance that New York State may split from New York City.
The Washington Post reports that secessionists have been working behind the scenes in New York to split the state into two, or possibly even three different regions. The hope is to help out the state's struggling economy.
Many residents in the Hudson Valley and upstate regions claim high taxes and tough regulations have been harmful to business. Some also believe that New York City's liberal views don't reflect those of the rest of the state. While the idea of breaking up the state isn't new, the fact that it could actually happen is something that is getting people to take the idea more seriously.
The way the split might happen is if voters choose to hold a constitutional convention. The state allows a convention to be held every 20 years, and the next one would be eligible in 2019.
At the convention, representatives from the different regions around the state can make changes to the state's constitution without having to get approval from lawmakers or the governor. Those changes, however, would need to be voted on by New Yorkers during the 2019 election.
Aside from splitting the state apart, other advocates are calling a convention so they can make sweeping changes to New York's regulations on guns, the environment, abortion and health care.
A Suny New Paltz professor of political science spoke with the Washington Post about the possibility of a constitutional convention actually happening. Gerald Benjamin told the paper, "Right now I think we’re the underdogs on this. I think we have a chance, but we’re underdogs." Unions, political action groups and other organizations have plenty of resources to campaign against a convention.
But if the last presidential election has taught us anything, it's that voters should expect the unexpected.
We want to know what you think. Should New York be split up? Do you think breaking away from New York City would be helpful or harmful for the Hudson Valley. Share your thoughts on our Facebook page or in the comments section below.