MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. - It is a new proposal for an old idea - splitting California into multiple states. Cal 3 wants to divide the state into three, California, Northern California, and Southern California.
They announced last week they surpassed the roughly 360,000 signatures needed to put the measure on the November ballot, collecting more than 600,000. They are now waiting on the state to certify those numbers.
The group says California is not catering to the needs of all of their communities. Basically, a smaller state means the government can more greatly focus on what their people need.
"And once you have those, you get this amazing opportunity to start rethinking all of the things that are going wrong now," Tim Draper, Cal 3 Chairman, said.
Monterey County and San Benito County would join coastal areas down to Los Angeles, in California. Santa Cruz County would be part of Northern California. The Eastern counties, moving South, through San Diego, would be Southern California.
Southern California would have an estimated population of 13.9 million people. Northern California would have 13.3 million, and California would consist of roughly 12.3.
Local political analyst Dr. David Anderson said there are issues with this plan. "Article 4 of the Constitution says no state shall be formed from another state. Just flat out. But it does say it
can be done with the permission of the state legislature and Congress."
Cal 3's website includes a study from the Legislative Analyst's Office. In it, it shows the measure must include that state and congressional approval. But Anderson also has other concerns. "You turn Southern California into kind of a poor area." He adds, "(for the) Central Coast, it would be a mixed bag of impacts, but you would have to tailor your message in a campaign to all three areas."
All state-wide agencies, departments and organizations would have to be divided. The group could also face a lengthy legal battle.
"(There would be) court challenges. It would be in the courts for years. Pensions for example, court challenges with the pension system. It's not going to happen," Anderson said.
Anderson also brings up a political hold up. The measure would need Congressional approval, and with a Republican majority in Washington, he believes it would be a tough sell. It would essentially give California six U.S. Senate seats, instead of two.