Officials on Long Island have initiated a study on the economic feasibility of its secession from New York state, Newsday reports. While acknowledging the difficulties of establishing a 51st state, Suffolk County Comptroller Joseph Sawicki said the proposal is really about examining what Long Island contributes to greater New York, and what it doesn’t get in return.
Sawicki puts that economic gap at about $2.9 billion annually. "If we were getting our fair share of education aid from the state, we wouldn't be here talking about this," he said. Critics concede the message has power, but warn against taking secession too seriously—30% of Long Islanders work in New York City, and wouldn’t be too happy with added commuter taxes.