Oceanside CA – Secretary of State Debra Bowen announced, on Tuesday, the proponent of an initiative to split California into six separate states, may begin collecting petition signatures for the measure.
The plan, known as ‘Six Californias’, is being pushed by venture capitalist Tim Draper. “California is ungovernable, as it is.” Draper said in a Fox Business News interview. “One group trying to manage the agrarian people in the central valley, the military groups down in LA, then Hollywood and up North, the people in Jefferson are trying to pull out not just from the state but from the country.”
The plan would split California into six new states which would then compete for counties. Draper said his plan would “give all of us sort of a refresh in government.” Draper continued “The refresh is desperately needed in a state that has the highest costs for the worst service.”
Draper believes the state’s poorest regions are the areas that want to split from the state, the most. Water rights have always been a big issue for the central valley and, with the current drought, those issues are magnified. Draper said the people of the central valley wonder why the people up North decide where all the water goes.
Dissatisfaction of government, and people feeling they were not being represented, led to a similar action in Colorado. An initiative to split Colorado, led by rural counties in Northern Colorado, failed last November on a 56% to 43% vote in Weld County.
The initiative faces opposition from Congress because the split would affect the Electoral College and the balance in the Senate. The U.S. Constitution requires that Legislatures must first approve any state that is to be created within its jurisdiction. The proponents of the plan will need to collect over 807,615 registered voters, eight percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2010 gubernatorial election, in order to qualify it for the ballot. The proponent has 150 days to circulate petitions for the measure, meaning the signatures must be submitted to county elections officials by July 18, 2014
The Attorney General’s official title and summary for the measure is as follows:
Division of California into six states. Initiative statutory and Constitutional amendment. Divides California into six states subject to approval by Congress. Assigns each county to a new state, unless county voters approve reassignment to different new state and second state approves. Establishes commission to settle California’s financial affairs after division; upon failure to resolve, each new state would retain assets within its boundaries and would receive proportionate distribution of California’s debts based on population. Authorizes counties to refuse to provide State-mandated programs and services absent sufficient State reimbursement. Empowers counties to make and enforce all laws governing local affairs. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: If the federal government approves the proposed creation of six new states, all tax collections and spending by the existing State of California would end, with its assets and liabilities divided among the new states. Decisions by appointed commissioners and elected leaders would determine how taxes, public spending, and other public policies would change for the new states and their local governments. (13-0063.)
The group leading the way for the petition is expected to release a statement later today.