Friday, 16 November, 2018

Initiative to split California into 3 separate states approved for November ballot

Proposal to split California into three states earns spot on ballot Getty Images
Melinda Barton | 13 June, 2018, 20:40

The radical plan - which would be the first division of an existing USA state since the creation of West Virginia in 1863 - qualified for the November ballot on Tuesday, the Secretary of State's office announced.

"Splitting California into three new states will triple the amount of special interests, lobbyists, politicians and bureaucracy".

The southern state would comprise Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Fresno, Tulare, Inyo, Madera, and Mono.

Under the proposal, the central state of California would consist of the counties of Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey and San Benito.

If the proposal ever makes it to Capitol Hill, one hurdle in a Republican-controlled Congress would be the idea of awarding the deep blue state four more senators, likely Democratic senators. Californians voted for it to appear on the ballot in November's general election.

It would be the first division of an existing US state since the creation of West Virginia in 1863.

If the proposal passes in November, it would still need to be approved by Congress.

It got more than the required number of signatures in Tuesday's primary.

"To create three states from a standing start, you'll get all the benefits of knowing all the things that worked in the past, and all the things that could work in the future and you get to eliminate all the baggage you got in the state", Draper said in a May news conference at Draper University. Supporters say the three state proposal would benefit infrastructure, education, and lower taxes. Each state, though different in size, would have roughly the same population, according to the proposal.

Critics of the initiative say having three Californias would actually diminish the power of Democrats.

But there's many reasons to be skeptical that voters will choose to split the state.

This isn't the first time that Draper attempted to get an initiative to break apart the most populous state.

Even if voters embrace the radical plan, it wouldn't take effect without congressional approval.