SOUTH MIAMI, Fla., Oct. 21 (UPI) -- Elected officials in the suburban city of South Miami passed a resolution Tuesday to split the state of Florida in half, with South Florida seceding from the northern portion of the state and becoming the 51st member of the Union.
The resolution was put forward by the city's vice mayor, Walter Harris, and approved in a 3-2 vote.
Harris says Tallahassee isn't concerned with the effect of sea-level rise on southern coastal communities.
"We have to be able to deal directly with this environmental concern and we can't really get it done in Tallahassee," Harris said. "I don't care what people think -- it's not a matter of electing the right people."
The newly proposed state of South Florida would feature the Sunshine State's 24 most southern counties, with a northern border corresponding to the I-4 corridor in Central Florida. The resolution also has the support of South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard.
"It's very apparent that the attitude of the northern part of the state is that they would just love to saw the state in half and just let us float off into the Caribbean," Stoddard told the Orlando Sentinel. "They've made that abundantly clear every possible opportunity and I would love to give them the opportunity to do that."
Harris and Stoddard say South Florida needs to take its fate into its own hands in order to effectively take on growing local concerns like the threat of global warming and sea level rise. But not all of South Miami's commissioners agree.
"I just want you guys to be careful because if you vote for this you're setting a precedent that if other people in this city don't like our representation or feel we're not responsive to them they might say 'we want to break away from the city of South Miami,'" said Gabriel Edmond, one of the two who voted against the resolution.
Having secured the three yay votes, the resolution will now be sent to the commissioners of the other 24 South Florida counties for their consideration.