NY State Group Continues Secession Movement
Members of the Upstate New York Towns Association are continuing their quest to leave New York state for good.
The group was in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania last Thursday, discussing a number of important topics, such as the possibility of joining the Keystone State.
The plan for secession began in December when, on the same day, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a statewide fracking ban and also the decision to award the Southern Tier casino license to a project outside of what is commonly considered the Southern Tier.
Carolyn Price, UNYTA president and town of Kirkwood supervisor, told the Daily News that this fall the office of Pennsylvania State Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati reached out to the upstate towns to arrange last week’s meeting.
The NY Daily News reports that nine New Yorkers sat down with staffers for Scarnati and Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Dave Reed to talk about future action. The group consisted of property owners, a gun rights activist, a filmmaker, Price. and Tioga County’s Candor Supervisor Bob Riggs.
Riggs, who is UNYTA vice president, said that he was interested, but not entirely committed to the idea of secession. He went on to call the idea "pretty far-fetched".
Thomas Wassel, a member of the executive committee of New York State Bar Association’s municipal law section, said that the move is theoretically possible but difficult. “It’s not the easiest thing to do,” he said. "There is no specific legal mechanism in the New York State Constitution or any law in order for a part of New York to secede, but it would require the consent of the New York State legislature and if they were going to join Pennsylvania it require the consent of Pennsylvania and also Congress.”
Several New York state groups held a similar secession rally in August. These groups looked to start their autonomous region known as New Amsterdam.