Hawley asks Speaker Heastie to take up “2 New Yorks” legislation

Posted 20 April 2016 at 12:00 am

Press Release, State Assemblyman Steve Hawley

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) said today that he is tired of the Legislature providing a disproportionate amount of aid to New York City, and showing a blatant disregard for the needs of upstate New Yorkers.

Hawley wrote to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie asking him to bring the “Two New Yorks” legislation to the floor and allow a vote to gauge public opinion on the issue. The bipartisan, non-binding measure would be an important step toward understanding whether New Yorkers feel that the amount of aid allocated upstate and the amount sent downstate is equitable, Hawley said.

“In the eyes of the Legislature, NYC and its welfare policies take precedence over upstate businesses and taxpayers,” said Hawley. “I have introduced legislation that will simply gauge the interest of New Yorkers in a non-binding way. For instance, the battle over minimum wage and the implications it would have on farmers and upstate small businesses was completely overlooked by our downstate counterparts. Such disconnect has been present for many years, which is why this legislation is long overdue.”

Hawley’s letter includes:
April 13, 2016

Honorable Carl E. Heastie
Speaker of the Assembly
Room 932 LOB
Albany, NY 12247

Dear Speaker Heastie:

I respectfully urge you to report Assembly Bill 4167 out of the Local Governments Committee to allow a full vote on the Assembly Floor. As you may know, A.4167 would allow voters to vote yes or no in a nonbinding referendum to indicate their preferences on whether New York should be divided into two states.

I believe that upstate and downstate New York citizens have differing needs, wants, and desires regarding legislation and budgetary requirements. Upstate citizens are representative of less urban and more rural values, while downstate citizens tend to be more city oriented. There are also distinct social and political differences. Upstate citizens are more reflective of conservative to moderate traits while downstate citizens are reflective of moderate to liberal traits.

In light of the fact that there is a philosophical view of the SAFE Act dividing Upstate and Downstate, now again, we have seen a division with the two minimum wages. It is apparent that now would be the perfect opportunity to take up my legislation and allow a referendum for citizens to indicate their preferences.

Again, I urge you to assist in reporting this piece of legislation out of committee so that the people of this great State are able to indicate their views. After all, isn’t this what being a representative is all about – actually finding out what constituents’ viewpoints are on issues affecting their lives as New Yorkers? Please contact me with any questions or concerns you have regarding this bill. Let the people’s voice be heard.



Member of the Assembly