Proposal to Split California into 3 on November Ballot

In November, voters will be asked to decide whether or not California should be split into three states.

A ballot initiative seeking to divide California has gathered enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot, but the measure faces a number of additional hurdles.

Dr. Stephen Goggin studies and teaches political science at San Diego State University.

He says the idea has come up before in multiple variations, but this is the first time the proposal has actually gathered enough support to go before voters.

It's backed by Silicon Valley venture capitalist Timothy Draper.

Supporters say splitting California would lead to better representation from state lawmakers.

But Goggin says even if the measure gets more than fifty percent of the vote needed to ask for Congressional approval to divide the state, it's still highly improbable the idea will become a reality. 

"At just about every point in the process, someone is going to stop this," Goggin said.

If approved by voters, the measure would face potential lawsuits. And it would need the approval of Congress and ratification by both the state Senate and Assembly.

Language in the initiative says the first of the proposed three states would encompass the Bay Area and other counties up to the Oregon border; the second would include Los Angeles, Monterrey, Santa Barbara, Ventura and other counties along the coast; and the third would include San Diego County, parts of the Inland Empire, Fresno County and some other central counties.

Democratic political consultant Steve Maviglio, spokesman for the OneCalifornia committee, which opposes the three-state initiative, was asked for comment Tuesday evening and pointed to his statement on the NoCABreakup Twitter page.

"This measure would cost taxpayers billions of dollars to pay for the massive transactional costs of breaking up the state, whether it be universities, parks or retirement systems," the statement said.

Supporters say it would lead to better results on issues like education, infrastructure and taxes.

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