The bill would aim to separate New York City from the Upstate region. says Steve Hawley, an Assemblyman from Batavia, who explains the bill he'd like to see enacted.
"It's measuring the support of the citizens of the state of New York to look into and see what the support or opposition might be to perhaps dividing New York into two separate states," Hawley says.
Hawley says he'd like to have voters in every county consider the question at the ballot box, so then there'd be some statewide feedback.
Hawley says he has no problem with his downstate colleagues, but he says the lifestyle in the New York City and Long Island area is just different compared to the upstate New York.
"The fact that we drive motor vehicles, and pay for gasoline. The fact that we drive on the Thruway and pay those tolls. The fact that we have many many small businesses and agriculture in upstate New York," Hawley says.
He also points to the fact so many New Yorkers pay high property taxes, fueled by unfunded mandates, including Medicaid, a government-funded health program for the poor.
It costs New York $55 billion annually, more than any other state.
Hawley also says the pay for legislators -- more than $79,000 -- is considered high for Upstate lawmakers -- but not high enough for some downstate lawmakers due to the cost of living in New York City and Long Island.