Does the Golden State have a chance for a three-state split?

Three-state split campaign

Californians will likely vote in November on a proposal dividing the Golden State into three states. Northstate residents say they still would not receive the representation they want.

The population based break of California, or Cal 3 initiative, would separate California into Northern California, California and Southern California. Boundaries would be determined by current county lines.

  • Northern California would include 40 counties from Santa Cruz to the Oregon border, including Shasta, Butte, Tehama, San Francisco and Sacramento, the state's current capital.
  • California would be made up six counties which fall along the coastline, including Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
  • Southern California would consist of 12 counties, including Fresno and San Diego counties.

The last time a new state was formed by breaking off of an existing state was during the Civil War when West Virginia became a state by seceding from a Confederate state. Some residents and lawmakers believe California is too big to govern and people are paying for it in high taxes, cost of living, and a lack of representation.

Venture Capitalist, Tim Draper, started the petition which has gone to each California county. It has collected over 400,000 valid signatures, placing it on the November ballot. In Shasta County over 5,000 valid signatures have been collected and almost 3,000 in Butte County.

Draper believes his three-states campaign would mean better infrastructure, better education and lower taxes for people living in the largely versified state.

However some people who live in the Northstate said they are uneasy about the blue counties included.

"I would rather see the Jefferson portion. I think that this part of California: Redding, Chico and above to the Oregon border, have different priorities than San Francisco and Sacramento."

Assemblyman James Gallagher shared a mutual frustration and said he would like fair representation in each area of the state.

"I don't think Tim Draper's initiative truly reflects the differences in regions in this state. The way he's drawn these three states, [makes them] almost all majority democratic states," Gallagher voiced.

"When it comes to three Californias, we understand why there needs to be a split. What we do not want is to be lumped in with Sacramento and San Francisco because we still would not have proper representation," Terry Rapoza with the State of Jefferson added, "The 40 counties in Northern California would be controlled by two."

Adding two new states would mean four new U.S. Senators and two new State Capitols.

The three-states campaign would require approval from both Houses of Calif. legislature, Congress and would need to survive the Supreme Court process, which the assemblyman says is unlikely.

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