Long Island secession plan gives Staten Island pol hope borough can break from city

by Staten Island Advance

Wednesday May 13, 2009, 12:41 PM

State Sen. Andrew Lanza wants Staten Island to break away from New York City.

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. “People are waking up and seeing the bill that they have to pay. More and more, they are seeing through the nonsense, that something’s not right.”

And it’s not just a New York phenonenon. GOP Texas Gov. Rick Perry stirred a hornet’s nest when he suggested that the Lone Star State could consider seceding from the Union. And Republican state lawmakers in Georgia have introduced legislation to make the Peach State into its own nation.

“People from every party are very frustrated that government doesn’t seem to be responsive, accountable, and acting according to the will of the people,” said Lanza.

-Reported by Tom Wrobleski

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