Big hurdles for bold push to split California into 3 states


A proposal that would split the state of California into three separate states has become eligible to appear on the state's ballots in November, California's Secretary of State has confirmed.

The three-states campaign, dubbed "Cal-3", submitted more than 600,000 signatures.

Venture capitalist Tim Draper, fresh off an attention-grabbing victory getting a proposal onto the November ballot to split California into three states, said on Wednesday he was confident voters ill-served by their government would embrace the plan.

Voters will now have to decide whether they approve of the measure to divide California into California, Northern California, and Southern California. Southern California would include much of our part of the Central Valley, from Madera County down to San Diego County.

A CNN analysis in April found that even if California split into three states, it would still be underrepresented in the Senate compared with most of the US.

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Will there soon be three Californias?

According to the Constitution, any initiative to move state boundaries or split states into new ones requires approval from Congress.

"It will simply divide the state into smaller, more manageable populations".

See below for the total number of signatures collected in each California county.

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.

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The only solution, he maintains, is smaller governments better equipped to respond to residents' specific needs depending on the region of California where they live.

This isn't the first time that Draper has put forward a ballot initiative in favor of breaking up California.

"How would we pay for basic services, what are our basic services, how would we fund just basic state government", he said.

California, a narrow, densely populated stretch of coastal counties, starting from Los Angeles and stretching north to Monterey.

Meanwhile, Northern California, which would be the richest of the three with a per capita income of around $63,000, would include the Bay Area and the 31 remaining counties north of Sacramento, the current state capital. It's been well over a half-century since a new state has been admitted to the Union, and over a century-and-a-half since an existing state was divided when West Virginia was created - and that required a civil war as a lubricant.

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College students from Northern California who go to school in Los Angeles (and vice versa) would also be affected.