One billionaire’s effort to turn California from one state into six has taken a big step forward. The Six Californias campaign claims they likely have enough signatures to make the ballot and plan to turn them in Tuesday. The plan is the brainchild and project of Tim Draper, the founder of a Silicon Valley venture capital firm.
The proposal would split California into six new states: Jefferson, North California, Silicon Valley, Central California, West California, and South California.
The six states would have very different sizes, populations and economic situations. According to the official state analysis of the plan Silicon Valley would end up as the state with the highest per capita personal income at $63,288 while Central California would rank even behind Mississippi with the lowest per capita personal income of any state.
If approve a host of issues would need to be addressed ranging from the handling of water, prison populations, state debt, the creation of five new capitals, among others.
The chances of the plan actually working are very remote. While I haven’t seen in polls on this specific plan, back in December Field Poll ask California voters how they felt about letting northern California secede to create the state of Jefferson. It found only 25 percent approved of the idea while 59 percent disapproved. Even a plurality of voters in this northern part of California opposed the idea.
While this six Californias plan would fix the fact that the people of California are heavily underrepresented in the United States Senate, that is also one of the mains reasons the plan is unlikely to work. Forming six new states from one old one would require the approval of Congress and many in Congress might not like the idea of significantly changing the balance of power in the Senate. Even if the voters approve the measure and the state was able to figure out all the technical issues there is no guarantee the rest of the country would let them carry out the plan.