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Move to study creating a state of Long Island fails in Suffolk

General Counsel to the Suffolk County Legislature George

General Counsel to the Suffolk County Legislature George Nolan and Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory attend a meeting with the Suffolk Legislature on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015. Credit: Jeffrey Basinger

A home rule message asking the state to do a feasibility study on creating the State of Long Island got a 10-vote majority in the Suffolk County Legislature last week but, under an unusual quirk in state law, failed to win legislative approval.

Legislative Counsel George Nolan said state law requires that home rule measures that originate with the county executive need only 10 votes for passage, but if the resolution comes from another source, it requires a two-thirds majority.

The measure, sponsored by Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory (D-Amityville), was filed as a courtesy for State Sen. Kenneth LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) even though Gregory voted against the resolution.

The measure lost on a 10-7 vote, with one Republican lawmaker, Legis. Kevin McCaffrey of Lindenhurst, the GOP caucus leader, not present and another Republican, Legis. Tom Barraga (R-West Islip), voting with seven Democrats against the measure.

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