SACRAMENTO, California (KSEE) – A plan to split California into three separate states has cleared its first hurdle. Supporters are now set to begin collecting signatures to qualify for next year’s ballot.
The plan is being funded by tech billionaire Tim Draper, who previously funded a similar proposal back in 2014 to divide the state up into six sections. That plan failed, but Draper is trying again, saying that the political and economic diversity of California has made the state almost ungovernable.
His new plan calls for dividing the state into “Northern California”, which would represent the northern counties, “Southern California” which would begin in Fresno and cover most of the southern state, and a “New California” which would begin in Los Angeles county and cover most of the coastal areas.
But many opponents say the plan would only create chaos.
“Creating three new governments, three new legislatures, three new governors and then having to disrupt what we have as a state all our prison systems, our higher education systems, I think diversity is what makes California great and this would actually ruin it,” said political analyst Steven Maviglio.
The measure needs 585,407 valid voter signatures to make it onto the November 2018 ballot. If the measure were to make it on the ballot and be approved by voters, it would still need permission from congress to replace California with three states.
“Well the wealth in the state is concentrated along the coast and the Inland Empire and Central Valley actually benefits from that because we are subsidizing their schools and providing them with tax moneys. If they were left on their own which is part of this proposal, you’d see massive tax increases in the poorest parts of the state and I don’t think that helps anybody,” Maviglio stated.