Staten Island could soon be separated from the rest of New York City by more than just a ferry ride.
A Republican state legislator from the largely conservative borough is proposing that Staten Island annex itself from the rest of New York City, splitting the state into three distinct regions that would each have their own governors, school districts, and taxes.
As the New York Post reported, state Assemblyman Michael Reilly said he is sick of New York City’s high taxes and liberal policies and wants a way out. He is proposing to join in a plan from fellow Republican Assemblyman David DiPietro to chop up the state into three areas, including a series of downstate counties in a region he called “Montauk.” New York City would be its own region and the rest of the state would be known as “New Amsterdam” under the plan.
Reilly said he believes Staten Island would be a fit with the rest of upstate New York.
“In my personal view, I’m leaning toward going up to New Amsterdam,” he told the New York Post. “I don’t think we would align with the Montauk region.”
As the report noted, the plan will almost assuredly fail in the Democratic-controlled state assembly, but it is not the first time that politicians have proposed severing New York City from the rest of the state. Other lawmakers have proposed actually creating distinct states, including a plan from Republican Assemblyman Stephen Hawley that would have made the greater New York City area into its own state. The larger upstate New York region, from Buffalo down to the edge of New York City, would have been a separate state.
“This is an idea that has been discussed for many years, and one which is especially popular throughout upstate New York,” Hawley told WGRB earlier this year. “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. And that is deeply troubling.”
The idea, which has never gained serious support in the past, would likely be a boon to Republicans as it would give them a better chance in presidential elections of winning what would be the newly created upstate New York region. New York is currently one of the deepest blue states, with its 29 electoral votes nearly guaranteed to Democrats.