Constitutional Law

Venture capitalist's plan to carve California into 6 states is likely to go before voters

A Silicon Valley venture capitalist’s proposal to divide California into six states seems like satire to some.

But Tim Draper says he and his team have gathered enough signatures to put the idea on the state ballot, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

If so, the measure probably would be considered by voters in November 2016, because the deadline for getting on next year’s ballot has passed, the newspaper notes.

Right now, it doesn’t seem likely the measure would be approve&mdasha February poll showed 59 percent of the state’s voters oppose it.

And, even if the measure did pass, an OK by Congress and the state legislature would be constitutionally required before the “Six Californias” concept could take effect.

Nonetheless, some see the idea as an opportunity for the financially challenged and politically divided state to regroup into smaller, more cohesive units: Jefferson, the northern part of the state, excluding Sacramento; North California, including Sacramento, Marin County and Sonoma County; Central California, comprised of the Central Valley south of Stockton and the central and southern foothills of the Sierra Nevada range; Silicon Valley, with San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose; South California, with Orange County and San Diego; and West California, which would include Los Angeles.

Silicon Valley, under the scheme, would become the wealthiest state in the nation, Bay Area News Group reports, and Central California would be the poorest.

A Venture Beat article includes maps not only of the “Six Californias” but which counties therein are predominantly Democratic and predominantly Republican.

The Daily Mail, the Silicon Valley Business Journal, Reuters and USA Today also have stories.

Updated at 12:50 p.m. to add additional details about the six proposed states, and to correct a reference about which state Sacramento would belong to.

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