Proposal to split California into three states qualifies for November ballot

Proposal to split California into three states qualifies for November ballot

Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper proposes turning California into three states.

The question was never put on the ballot because it failed to gain enough signatures.

In November there will be a ballot measure calling for breaking up California into three separate states. Congress admitted four US states that were split from an existing state: Kentucky, Maine, Vermont, and lastly West Virginia in 1863 during the Civil War. Though the proposed NorCal and SoCal states would have access to water within their borders, California state-home to ever-thirsty Los Angeles County-would be required to import water from the other two. Southern California will consist of a number of counties in the state's Central Valley, Inland Empire, and southern coastal regions, including Fresno, San Bernardino, Orange, and San Diego Counties.

The remaining 40 counties would be part of the state of Northern California or a name chosen by its residents. The proposal would give the people of California six senators.

According to CNN, the initiative claims it can solve California's most pressing issues, including the state's failing school systems, high taxes, deteriorating infrastructure and strained government.

But Draper contends that the state needs a change and cutting it up into three parts is the solution.


It appears that Draper's plan has gone further than many sceptics had imagined. "And risk aversion looms large in these matters, which helps explain why no new states have been added to the United States in over 50 years, and no new state has been created out of an existing state for more than 150 years", he wrote.

Congressional approval, however, is no easy ask.

"California government has rotted", Draper told The Mercury News last month.

Steven Maviglio, a Democratic political consultant told the paper it was a bad idea. Then Draper switched to a three-state vision instead, and this time, his signature drive was successful.

Scholar Vikram David Amar from the University of IL has written about the California statehood proposals.

Among other obstacles, a recent SurveyUSA poll found that only 17 percent of California voters support the "CAL3" plan. Republicans won't like the addition of four USA senators - at least two of whom would likely be Democrats - which would dilute the built-in advantage their small-state strength now gives them in the upper chamber.

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