Green light for move to divide California into six states

Feb 19, 2014

"West California" (in blue) would consist of SLO, Santa Barbara, Ventura, and LA Counties.
Credit KQED - cropped from original

  A Silicon Valley venture capitalist who believes California has become too large to manage received word Wednesday from Secretary of State Debra Bowen that he may begin circulating his voter petition to split up the state.

The proponent for the measure, Tim Draper, must collect signatures from eight percent of the state's registered voters by mid-July in order for his initiative to qualify for the November 2014 ballot. He launched his measure back in December.

The initiative calls for breaking up California into six new states. "West California" would be the most populous of the six, containing nearly a third of California's current residents. It would consist of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles Counties, according to a map provided by San Francisco NPR affiliate KQED.

The Central Coast counties of Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito would be grouped in with several South Bay and Penninsula counties for a "Silicon Valley" state, according to the same map. It would have a per-capita income of $63,288 - the highest of any U.S. State.

"If the federal government approves the proposed creation of six new states, all tax collections and spending by the existing State of California would end, with its assets and liabilities divided among the new states. Decisions by appointed commissioners and elected leaders would determine how taxes, public spending, and other public policies would change for the new states and their local governments." 

- from the official title and summary provided by Attorney General Kamala Harris' 

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

Draper is planning a Monday afternoon press conference in San Mateo to further discuss his initiative effort.