Plan To Split California Into Three States Will Be On The November Ballot
A move to split California into three separate states has gained enough signatures to qualify it for the November ballot.
California's secretary of state confirmed the news on Tuesday.
The initiative, which has become known as 'Cal 3' has gained over 600,000 signatures and is sponsored by Tim Draper, a Silicon Valley venture capital investor and billionaire.
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According to Draper, the "California government has rotted. We need to empower our population to improve their government."
If the initiative to split California goes ahead, the state would be separated into three different entities; California, Northern California, and Southern California.
California would include the Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara counties while Northern California would be made up of 40 counties including San Francisco, Sacramento, and Santa Cruz. Southern California would encompass 12 counties including the Kern and San Diego counties.
California has been a single entity state since its founding in 1850. If 'Cal 3' goes ahead, it will be the first time a state has split since West Virginia was created in 1863.
This isn't the first time a move to split California has been proposed. Draper previously proposed California be split into six areas and activists continue to run a highly publicized campaign known as 'Calexit' which proposes California secede from the United States altogether.
Those opposed to Draper's initiative have been taking comfort in the fact that even if the ballot measure was approved by voters, it would still face several challenges. Lawmakers in both houses of California's legislature would have to approve the measure as well as Congress. It is unlikely this would happen without major opposition.
According to Steve Maviglio, a Democratic political strategist, "this measure would cost taxpayers billions of dollars to pay for the massive transactional costs of breaking up the state, whether it be universities, parks or retirement systems. California government can do a better job of addressing the real issues facing the state, but this measure is a massive distraction that will cause political chaos and greater inequality."
It remains unclear how such a move would affect current laws in the state. Students are curious as to how the measure would affect tuition and if they would be required to pay out of state fees for schools only miles away. Earlier this year, California legalized cannabis for recreational use, begging the question as to how legal adult cannabis use may be affected by such a shift.
Whilst Draper remains positive his initiative will move forward, voters will now have the chance to share their views come November time.