California voters may have a huge decision to make about the future of their massive state. Some are asking whether the state is too big and should be broken into three separate states.
Venture capitalist Tim Draper, who pushed for a six-state proposal, now has a three-state proposal called “CAL3,” according to CBS San Francisco.
Although he tried, Draper did not get enough signatures to get his six-state proposal on the 2016 California ballot. For the “CAL3” proposal, he needed 366,000 signatures. On Thursday, he announced that he has more than 600,000 signatures.
“I’m proud to announce we’ve collected more than enough signatures to qualify for the 2018 ballot,” Draper said.
If the proposal passes, the Bay Area, along with counties north of Merced, would be considered as Northern California. Along the coast, from Monterey to Los Angeles, would be California and the counties to the east would be Southern California.
The population of each new state would fall into the range of 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.
“This would make sure everyone has a government that is responsive and responsible,” Draper said.
This proposal has its opponents. Joe Rodota is the founder of Forward Observer. He’s a longtime California political consultant who says this is all a “waste of time.”
“There are a lot of good ideas that come out of Silicon Valley and this isn’t one of them,” Rodota said.
Rodota uses the University of California (UC) system as an 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,” Rodota asked.
There’s also water rights, state pensions, prisons and education funding. Figuring all this out takes time and money, and so would set up three new governments.
Rodota doesn’t think voters will go for it. “Voters have been skeptical in California,” he said.
If the vote were to pass, it would have to be approved by Congress. They probably won’t be eager to dilute their own power by creating four new U.S. senators for the West Coast.
Still, Draper says it’s California’s nature to push the envelope.
“California dreams big,” he said.
What do you think about CAL3?
Credit: CBS News