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Offbeat Measure to split California into three states qualifies for November ballot

20:11  13 june  2018
20:11  13 june  2018 Source:   sfchronicle.com

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For the first time since before the Civil War, voters across California will decide in November on a proposal to split up the Golden State — potentially

A proposal to split California has qualified for the ballot in November .

Venture capitalist Tim Draper delivers signed petitions to divide California into six separate states at the County of Sacramento Voter Registration and Elections Department in Sacramento, California, July 15, 2014. © Max Whittaker/Prime / Special To The Chronicle Venture capitalist Tim Draper delivers signed petitions to divide California into six separate states at the County of Sacramento Voter Registration and Elections Department in Sacramento, California, July 15, 2014.

Voters will get a chance to decide whether three Californias are better than one now that an initiative calling for California to be split into three separate states will be on the November ballot.

Tim Draper, a Bay Area venture capitalist, bankrolled the effort and turned in far more than the 365,880 valid signatures needed to put the measure, known as the Cal 3 initiative, on the ballot. The signature verification was completed Tuesday.

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An initiative that would split California into three separate states qualified Tuesday to appear on the ballot in November 's general election.

His measure to divide California into three states has qualified for the November 2018 ballot .Photo: Max Whittaker/Prime / Special to The “The effects that California ’s split would have on the new state governments would depend on decisions by the existing state ’s Legislature in splitting

“This is a chance for three fresh approaches to government,” Draper said in an April interview, just before he filed the signatures with the state. “Three new states could become models not only for the rest of the country, but for the whole world.”

The opposition already is forming. NoCABreakup, which is led by former Democratic Assembly Speaker Fabien Núñez, is gearing up to battle the split-state plan.

“California government can do a better job addressing the real issues facing the state, but this measure is a massive distraction that will cause political chaos and greater inequality,” tweeted Steve Maviglio, a consultant for the opposition effort. “Splitting California into three new states will triple the amount of special interests, lobbyists, politicians and bureaucracy.”

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The California Secretary of State ’s office says the straightforwardly named measure Division Of California Into Three States has reached enough SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A proposal to split California has qualified for the ballot in November . The California Secretary of State ’s office says

This is really happening: Measure to split California into three states qualifies for November ballot . For the first time since before the Civil War, voters across California will decide in November on a proposal to split up the Golden State — potentially remaking it into three new states .

This isn’t Draper’s first venture into redrawing California’s boundaries. In 2014, he spent $5.2 million in an ultimately unsuccessful effort to qualify a state constitutional amendment that would have chopped California into six states.

He acknowledged that six Californias was probably a step too far for most voters, but believes a one-for-three shift would be more palatable.

The plan now calls for dividing the state into California, which would run from Los Angeles north along the coast to Monterey; Southern California, which would go from San Diego and Orange County north past Fresno to Madera County; and Northern California, which would encompass everything from Santa Cruz north, including the Bay Area and Sacramento.

All those states aren’t created equal, especially when it comes to public facilities, including colleges and universities, prisons and water projects. If the initiative passes, the existing Legislature will have to decide the best way to split everything in the state, from college students and prisoners to state workers, retirees and the cash in the budget.

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A proposal to split California has qualified for the ballot in November . The California Secretary of State 's office says the straightforwardly named measure "Division Of California Into Three States " has reached enough signatures.

California ’s 168-year run as a single entity, hugging the continent’s edge for hundreds of miles and sprawling east across mountains and desert, could come to an end next year — as a controversial plan to split the Golden State into three new jurisdictions qualified Tuesday for the Nov . 6 ballot .

“The effects that California’s split would have on the new state governments would depend on decisions by the existing state’s Legislature in splitting up California’s assets and liabilities, as well as decisions by the new states’ leaders,” Mac Taylor, California’s legislative analyst, said in a report on the financial and legal effects of the initiative.

Even if the initiative passes, California’s breakup is no sure thing. Under the Constitution, the Legislature also must approve the creation of the three new states before the plan can be submitted to Congress for approval. The last time that happened was in 1863, when West Virginia split from Virginia during the Civil War.

The Cal 3 website brushes aside those concerns.

“Once voters say YES to Cal 3, the state legislature — if they reflect the will of the people — will recommend the Cal 3 plan to the U.S. Congress, which will decide whether or not to support the self-determination of Californians,” according to the website.

a close up of a map © Hearst Newspapers Self-determination, however, can count for less than the politics that would follow the creation of two new states, each with a new pair of senators. Way back in 1859, for example, the Legislature agreed, after a vote by Southern California, to split the state in two at the Tehachapi Mountains. But although the state sent the partition request to Congress, no action was taken.

“I don’t think there would be any appetite for adding four Democratic senators in a Republican-controlled Congress,” said Maviglio, a spokesman for the opposition.

Then there are the guaranteed legal battles, including the question of whether a simple initiative — and not a constitutional amendment, which would have required Draper to collect more signatures — is enough to set these major changes in motion.

But for Draper, who has been the driving force and deep pockets behind the initiative, the hard part is over. With the split-state plan on the ballot, the discussion of how best to update California — or three Californias — now can begin.

John Wildermuth is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @jfwildermuth

Californians divided on whether, how to ... divide .
The movement to slice up the state of California is reeling from internal clashes over what’s the best way to rearrange the state. The Cal 3 measure, which seeks to break up America’s most populous state into three smaller states, recently gathered enough support to earn the right to appear on the Nov. 6 state election ballot, giving voters a historic chance to improve their representation on the national level.

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