State of Jefferson stalls in Butte County


OROVILLE, Calif. - After more than two hours of public comment, the Butte County supervisors decided against voting whether to affirm a declaration of support for the State of Jefferson.

The symbolic move would have made Butte County the sixth Northern California county to vote in favor of supporting the movement which aims to create a 51st state.

Supervisors Larry Wahl and Bill Connelly had initially moved for the board to make a vote on the declaration but after Maureen Kirk, Steve Lambart and Doug Teeter said they were against it, they withdrew the motion.

Instead, they're asking State of Jefferson leaders to come back to them with more detailed information about how the new state would be formed and support itself.

State of Jefferson spokesperson Mark Baird, in attendance from Siskiyou County, said he's not discouraged.

"That's fair. I mean, you're elected representatives want more information, it's our job to give it to them. Of course, we're disappointed that they decided not to affirm the declaration today but they certainly didn't close the door," Baird said. "We just need some kind of indicative action that Butte County desires to join us and then away we go."

Baird said his group will gather more research and likely return to the board in hopes of a vote in about six months.

The board also took action to approve an initiative for the November ballot regarding the cultivation of marijuana in the county.

The initiative would revert growing rules to what they had been before supervisors approved an ordinance earlier this year. It also said any changes to guidelines in the future would have to be approved by voters.