A Silicon Valley billionaire’s quixotic effort to split California into six separate states has moved closer to the ballot box with the submission of more than a million signatures to state election officials this week.
Tim Draper’s plan to divide the Golden State up could be on the 2016 statewide ballot if enough of the signatures are certified.
Many hurdles lie ahead, even if voters approve the plan, however, including approval by the federal government.
Draper argues that California, with roughly 38 million residents, has become too large to govern effectively and that fast-moving Silicon Valley is being hamstrung by a lethargic state government in Sacramento.
The proposal would create the nation’s richest state, per capita, to be called Silicon Valley, as well as North-California, Central-California, South-California and West-California. The northern counties of the state, among the poorest, would be called Jefferson.
Unresolved are issues over water rights and transportation projects such as the state’s multibillion-dollar high-speed-rail project and the unintended political consequences that could develop from the addition of 10 members to the U.S. Senate.
– Tom Bemis