Voters will decide in November on a proposal to break up California into three smaller states — the first time since before the Civil War that an effort to divide the state will make it to the ballot.

The initiative dividing California, pushed by Silicon Valley venture capital investor Tim Draper, received enough signatures to qualify it for the ballot, the Secretary of State’s office confirmed Tuesday afternoon.

Supporters of the measure submitted more than 600,000 signatures, and a random sample projected that enough are valid that the measure can go directly to the ballot.

The proposal would make the Golden State into three: California would be reduced to a coastal strip running south from Monterey to just past Los Angeles.

The Bay Area would be part of a new Northern California state with a border that starts north of Monterey, runs east and north to the Nevada state line, and includes everything north to the Oregon border.

A new Southern California state would run south from the Northern California border, skirt around the coast from Monterey past Los Angeles, and include San Diego, Death Valley and the rest of the state east to Nevada and Arizona.

Even if approved by state voters, splitting up the state still would require approval from Congress — no easy thing in a sharply divided country. Voters approved the splitting of California into two states in 1859, but Congress never acted on that request.

Creating two new states would add four new members to the U.S. Senate, two for each of the additional Californias. That may not sit well with representatives from flyover country who already feel like California, which has grown deeply Democratic, has too much influence in Congress.

Draper, who did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday, previously pushed an effort to break California into six states, but didn’t receive enough signatures to put that plan onto the ballot. He and other supporters argue that the Golden State has become ungovernable and smaller states would have more efficient governments.

Steven Maviglio, a Democratic political consultant who worked on a past campaign opposing the state’s breakup, said the initiative was taking the wrong track.

“Splitting California into three new states will triple the amount of special interests, lobbyists, politicians and bureaucracy,” Maviglio said in an email. “California government can do a better job addressing the real issues facing the state, but this measure is a massive distraction that will cause political …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Latest News


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Measure splitting California into three states makes it to November ballot

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