Initiative to split California into 3 separate states approved for November ballot

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An initiative to divide California into three states has received enough signatures to qualify it for the November ballot, the California secretary of state's office confirmed Tuesday.

The proposal calls for three states to be formed: Northern California, roughly the Bay Area to the OR border; California, which would include six coastal counties, including Los Angeles, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura; and Southern California, which would go from Fresno to San Diego, excluding those six coastal counties.

The proposal was spearheaded by a venture capitalist who says regional communities would function better. Southern California would begin in Fresno and cover most of the southern state.

Scholar Vikram David Amar from the University of IL has written about the California statehood proposals. But after the "Six Californias" plan failed to make it onto the ballot for the second time that year since 2012, Draper redrew the state lines.

For several years, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Timothy Draper has sought to break up California, citing its unwieldy size as damaging to the state's schools, livability and the economy.

The only solution, he maintains, is smaller governments better equipped to respond to residents' specific needs depending on the region of California where they live.

Measure to split California into 3 states qualifies for November ballot

The new California would retain Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey and San Benito counties.

It's not the first attempt to split up California. Though the proposed NorCal and SoCal states would have access to water within their borders, California state-home to ever-thirsty Los Angeles County-would be required to import water from the other two.

Voters won't have the final say on the measure, however.

Draper argues that the three diverse regions would be better served by their own, smaller governments. "As voters become educated, they tend to support Cal3", Draper, 60, told Reuters in an interview via email.

The state of Northern California would contain 40 counties, including those in the Sacramento and Bay areas. Each state, though different in size, would have roughly the same population, according to the proposal.

In the United States Senate, four more members would need to be added. The state report notes that California's water system is "one of the most complex in the world" because water "does not naturally appear in California where demand is highest".