If Silicon Valley billionaire Tim Draper gets his way, San Luis Obispo County will join Los Angeles in a coastal cluster of six counties that will make up the new state of California.
On Tuesday, the California Secretary of State’s Office announced that Draper’s initiative received the needed number of signatures to go on the ballot. Now Californians are set to vote on the “Division of California into Three States” initiative in November.
Draper’s initiative calls for the division of California into the new states of “California,” “Northern California” and “Southern California.” Even if the measure does pass, it will require congressional approval to break up the existing state of California.
As outlined in the initiative, the new state of California would consist of Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey and San Benito counties. The state of Northern California would contain 40 counties, including those in the Sacramento and Bay areas. Southern California would consist of 12 counties, including San Diego and Orange counties, the Inland Empire and much of the Central Valley.
In a letter explaining the initiative Draper stated California has become nearly ungovernable and numerous regions of the state are inadequately represented in Sacramento.
“Political representation of California’s diverse population and economies has rendered the state nearly ungovernable. Additionally, vast parts of California are poorly served by a representative government dominated by a large number of elected representatives from a small part of our state, both geographically and economically,” Draper stated. “The citizens of the whole state would be better served by three smaller state governments while preserving the historical boundaries of the various counties, cities and towns.”
If the ballot measure were to pass and Congress were to approve of splitting up California, the state’s assets and liabilities would be divided among the three states. The new states would then make their own decisions about taxes and spending.
Draper previously pushed an initiative aiming to split California into six states. The initiative did not qualify for the ballot.