A plan proposed by billionaire Tim Draper to break California into three separate states has been given the go-ahead to start collecting signatures to get the initiative on next year’s election ballot.
If the plan is approved by voters, it would still need permission from Congress for it to go into effect.
The plan is being directly funded by Draper, who attempted to fund a similar proposal that failed back in 2014. The Silicon Valley venture capitalist claims that splitting the California population would be better for citizens. He’s aiming to divide the state into three smaller state governments, rather than the current large one.
“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,” Draper wrote in a statement of findings, according to the Times.
ABC reports that the ideal three-way split would play out like this: “Northern California” would include the Bay Area all the way to the Oregon border, encompassing Sacramento. “Southern California” would begin in Fresno and cover most of the southern state including San Diego and Orange County. A brand new “California” state would begin in the Los Angeles County and cover most of the coastal areas.
According to KTLA, the new Southern California would have the most people out of the three states, with 13.9 million residents. Northern California would have 13.3 million residents, while California would have 12.3 million.
Opponents of the plan believe the split would create absolute chaos.
"Creating three new governments three new legislatures, three new governors and then having to disrupt what we have as a state all our prison systems, our higher education systems," said political analyst Steven Maviglio. "I think diversity is what makes California great and this would actually ruin it."
In order for the initiative to get on the November 2018 ballot, Draper must collect 365,880 signatures from registered voters within 180 days before April 23rd, 2018.