News

Could California be split into six states?

Could California be split into six states?

CALIFORNIA TIMES SIX?: California Secretary of State Debra Bowen (L) speaks with members of the Legislature before Governor Jerry Brown delivers the State of the State address in Sacramento, California Jan. 31, 2011 file photo. Photo: Reuters/Max Whittaker

By Dan Whitcomb and Laila Kearney

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A venture capitalist seeking to break California into six new states has won approval to begin collecting signatures needed to get his plan on the ballot in November, but experts said such a measure likely stands little chance of success.

The proposal, which would also require approval by the Congress, would split California into six new states called Jefferson, North California, Silicon Valley, Central California, West California and South California.

Under the plan, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara would be part of “West California,” while San Francisco and San Jose would be in “Silicon Valley.”

“California, as it is, is ungovernable,” proponent Tim Draper, founder of the venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, said in a statement released by his office on Thursday.

“It is more and more difficult for Sacramento to keep up with the social issues from the various regions of California. With six Californias, people will be closer to their state governments and states can get a refresh,” Draper said.

California Secretary of State Debra Bowen said on Tuesday that the proposal needs the signatures of 807,615 registered voters by July 14 to qualify as a ballot measure in November’s elections.

Representatives for the Six Californias initiative declined to comment beyond Draper’s statement. A spokesman for Governor Jerry Brown also declined to comment.

But political experts said that like most such break-up bids, such a dramatic move faces major challenges in California, the most populous U.S. state.

“This is really just a hypothetical question. It’s not going to happen,” said Stanford Law School professor Nate Persily, citing a likely resistance by Californians to being broken into separate states.

Persily also cited the cost and complications of establishing six new governments, each with its own state capital and representatives in Washington, D.C.

David Carillo, executive director of the California Constitution Center at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, agreed, saying the U.S. Constitution could also be interpreted to require approval of such a move by the California state legislature.

Carillo also said the U.S. Congress was unlikely to get on board with the plan.

“One could wonder whether Congress would look favorably on adding five new stars to Old Glory,” he said.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb and Laila Kearney; editing by Amanda Kwan and G Crosse)

Recent News

8 hours ago in Entertainment

Bill Murray tosses fans’ phones off rooftop

billmurray

The "Ghostbusters" star was unwinding at rooftop restaurant in California on Thursday when he spotted two starstruck fans trying to snap his photo.

9 hours ago in Entertainment

OPENING WEEKEND: ‘Deadpool,’ ‘Zoolander 2’ to battle at the box office

15-overlay-6

Here's a look at some of the films set to open this weekend.

9 hours ago in Entertainment, National

Roses and roaches: Cold-hearted Valentine’s Day ideas

valentines

With the coldest air in more than a decade forecast to grip the United States this Valentine's Day weekend, the holiday dedicated to love is flashing its frigid side.

11 hours ago in Music, Entertainment

Woodstock 50th anniversary celebration in the works

woodstock

Organizers of the original Woodstock festival are trying to get something together to mark the golden anniversary of the event in 2019.

14 hours ago in Music

Eagles of Death Metal schedules first concert since Paris massacre

eaglesofdeathmetal

Eagles of Death Metal, the band on stage during the deadliest of the Islamic State attacks in Paris in November last year, has scheduled its first concert since the massacre.