Central Coast

Dear Jon: Splitting California into 6 states may not make sense for everyone

Experts question splitting up vital economic and water issues equitably

We've been reporting on splitting California into six states for about year now, ever since Silicon Valley tech billionaire Tim Draper spearheaded the effort to get this proposal on the ballot. Right now, the effort to get the over 800,000 signatures for the ballot run in November is underway. I received a note from Joseph asking me, "Dear Jon, are they going to split California into six states?"

I've interviewed experts on this topic and before you roll your eyes, think about it. The conventional wisdom is that smaller entities are easier to manage. They have less overhead, cost less to run and can serve their region more effectively. Proponents make a good argument. 

The six states would be: Silicon Valley, Jefferson, North California, Central California, West California and Southern California. But experts are skeptical, at best, and we've been talking about splitting California in two states for as long as I can remember. Some say over 200 different efforts have been discussed and attempted.   

Central Coast News political analyst, David Anderson says there would be a huge number of issues about shared public good.

"Utilities, water supply, state debt, there's all kinds of issues that are implied without any conceivable option," says Anderson. He says you can't divide up all of those obligations.

Analysts also say states can't just decide what they'll be; the federal government has to pass a law to allow a split.

Let's talk about representation in the U.S. Senate. Backers of the split say the two U.S. senators for 40 million Californians under-represents some areas of California. With a split of this magnitude you'd be adding 10 new U.S. senators.

Opponents say splitting creates economic disparity between states. Silicon Valley would theoretically be super rich, while Central California would be at a financial disadvantage.

In the final analysis: Experts say don't hold your breath waiting for this to happen.

If you have a question for me, use the link above or DearJon@KIONRightNow.com. I'm also on Facebook at "Jon K Brent KIONKCOY" and Twitter at "DearJonKBrent."

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