State lawmaker renews call for dividing Maine

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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A lawmaker from northern Maine has launched another attempt to divide Maine into two states.

Rep. Henry Joy’s proposal gives new fuel to the notion of there being two Maines — the prosperous, populated south, and rural north. He says he was inspired by a proposal to create North Woods natural preserve that would remove valuable woodlands from further economic development.

To be considered by the Legislature, Joy’s proposal would have to clear the Legislative Council, something that’s unlikely so late in the legislative session.

Under Joy’s plan, the state of Maine would encompass Aroostook, Piscataquis, Somerset, Franklin, Penobscot, and parts of Washington, Hancock and Oxford counties. Southern and coastal Maine would be renamed the state of Northern Massachusetts.

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