California to vote on splitting into 3 states

California to vote on splitting into 3 states

It's the brainchild of Silicon Valley tech billionaire Tim Draper, who previously proposed splitting California into six states, most recently in 2014.

The proposal would see California shrunk down to its coastal areas between Los Angeles and Sonoma Counties.

Northern California would include 40 counties from Santa Cruz to the OR border, including San Francisco and Sacramento, the state's current capital. Southern California would take in San Diego as well as San Bernardino, Orange, Riverside, Mono, Madera, Inyo, Tulare, Fresno, Kings, Kern and Imperial counties.

Vikram Amar, a law professor from the University of IL who had studied Draper's plan, told the Times that based on the last election, the Electoral College split by the plan would allow a Republican to win one of the states. "We need to empower our population to improve their government".

However, the ballot measure faces long odds. California will consist of Los Angeles County and a number of counties in the Central Coast region, including Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties. It cleared its first hurdle in October when Draper was given the go-ahead to find signatures so the initiative could make it to the ballot, according to the Deseret News.

Once approved, the measure would require the governor to notify Congress on January 1, 2019, and request a vote on the proposed California split within 12 months of that date. For example, about 70 percent of the current state's general fund is derived from personal income taxes, which California assesses on a steeply graduated scale.

If passed, it would be the first division of a USA state since 1863, when West Virginia was created, the Times reported.

The measure backed by Tim Draper has hit almost 420,000 valid or projected to be valid signatures in the random sample, topping the 365,000 needed to qualify for the November ballot.

Last summer, Draper formally submitted the three-states proposal.

But there's many reasons to be skeptical that voters will choose to split the state. Northern and Southern California would become two new states.

Partitioning California into three states would increase the size of the U.S. Senate from 100 to 104 members, and the state's 55 electoral points would be divided among the three, according to Ballotpedia.

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