Secession Is in the Water Staten and Long Islands Talk of Quitting NY State

Secession fever is burning hotter among Republicans in the state Senate these days, leading GOP Sen. Andrew Lanza to hope that his plan for breaking Staten Island away from New York City will get a jump start.

Long Island state Sen. Kenneth LaValle and Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr., both Republicans, this week called for a task force to study the feasibility of statehood for Long Island. Suffolk County legislators, including County Comptroller Joseph Sawicki, have endorsed the idea.

The reason: The $1.5 billion payroll tax imposed by the Legislature to help bail out the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

"Secession is certainly in the water," said Lanza (R-Staten Island), who plans to introduce his secession legislation in the Senate before the Albany session concludes at the end of June.

Read the rest of the article

May 19, 2009