“Three Californias” Initiative Likely To Make Ballot

CBS San Francisco reports:

California voters could soon be asked to decide whether their state is too big. Venture capitalist and billionaire, Tim Draper, who pushed for a six-state proposal, now has a three-state proposal. Draper did not have enough signatures to get his six-state measure on the California ballot in 2016.

For this new proposal — to break California into three states — he needs 366,000 signatures to put it on the ballot. On Thursday, he announced he’s got more than 600,000 signatures.

Draper said, “I’m proud to announce we’ve collected more than enough signatures to qualify for the 2018 ballot.” In the proposal, the Bay Area would be in ‘Norcal’ along with the counties north of Merced. Along the coast from Monterey to Los Angeles would be ‘California’ and the counties east would be ‘Socal’.

Even if approved by voters, Draper’s initiative has little chance of becoming reality.

The population of each new state would range from 13.9 million people in Southern California, 13.3 million in Northern California and 12.3 million in California. The three new states would still be among the top ten most populous in the country. But the devil is in the details, and there are a lot of details.

Take the University of California (UC) system, for example. There are 10 UC campuses in California, which are built and paid for by taxpayers throughout the state. “How are you going to tell a family that lives in Los Angeles they have to pay out of state tuition to go to Berkeley,” asked political consultant Joe Rihoda.

There’s also water rights, state pensions, prisons and education funding. Figuring all this out takes time and money, and so would setting up three new governments. And even if it passes, it all has to be approved by Congress, who might not be eager to dilute their own power by creating four new U.S. senators for the West Coast.

The signatures must be verified before California Secretary of State Alex Padilla can approve putting the issue on the November ballot.