Well, Scratch That Whole Splitting California Into 3 States Thing (At Least For Now)

Billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper has a new proposal to split up The Golden State, this time with a proposal to divide the nation's most populous state into three states. (Image courtesy cal3.com)

A divisive (literally) ballot measure set to go before California voters in November is now off the ballot, under orders by the state's top court.

California's Supreme Court on Wednesday told Secretary of State Alex Padilla to take the measure off the ballot pending further review, the Sacramento Bee reported. That comes after an environmental nonprofit and political attorneys argued that breaking up California would amount to a "revision" of the state constitution and therefore needs support by two-thirds of the state Legislature before voters see it on an election ballot.

The Cal 3 Initiative seeks to split the Golden State up into three smaller states, with supporters arguing that California has grown too large to meet the needs of its residents. But opponents say creating three states will do nothing to solve California's economic and political problems.

Billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper, the man behind the idea, gathered enough signatures — more than 600,000, he claimed — to get it on the November ballot.

The initiative proposes creating three states:

  • California - The smallest of the three proposed states would include Los Angeles County and span north to the Monterey area, but excludes most of the inland region currently considered Southern California.
  • Northern California - Includes San Francisco and north to Oregon.
  • Southern California - Includes Orange County and land up to the Fresno County region and south to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Those names are just placeholders, according to Draper, who wants residents to decide the final names.

Draper's plan is far from the first effort made to divide the state. The idea has been floated hundreds of times. And the court ruled to review the initiative more closely, so we haven't heard the last of this specific plan.

This is a developing story.


News happens every day. Here at LAist, our goal is to cover the stories that matter to you and the community you live in. Now that we're part of KPCC, those stories (including this one you're on right now!) are made possible by generous people like you. Independent, local journalism isn't cheap, but with your support we can keep delivering it. Donate now.