RENO, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- A push to split California into six different states may have taken a step forward. Supporters of the "Fix it in Six" initiative said they turned in 1.3 million signatures to the California Secretary of State's Office. They need a little more than 800,000 signatures to get the initiative on the 2016 ballot.
Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist Tim Draper is the man behind the effort. He and other supporters said this idea will make California government more modern and more responsive. "The interests of 38 million Californians cannot be served by one government. There are 38 million of us trying to talk at the same time and they're (lawmakers) just hearing noise, coming from all sides."
While speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Draper also said the people could govern themselves. "You don't have to be governed by a bunch of voters who live way away from you. You can encourage jobs, you can take those jobs that are going off to other states and get them into places that need them, like in Central California."
The plan would divide California into six states. The northernmost portion would be a new state called Jefferson. South California would include San Diego and east Los Angeles. The rest of L.A. would be called West California. North California would be established surrounding Sacramento, and Central California would include the central valley farm areas, such as Tulare and Fresno counties.
According to data provided by the nonpartisan California Legislative Analyst's Office, the new Silicon Valley would become the nation’s richest state, while Central California would become its poorest.
Getting the idea before voters and on the ballot is one hurdle. Critics said this idea will face even bigger obstacles, as there is a lot of research that indicates the poorer areas of California would be far worse off by this proposal. They said the tax base is concentrated in some of California's urban areas and the poorer, more rural areas would lose much needed tax revenue.
Fred Lokken is the Dean of Political Science at Truckee Meadows Community College. "Given the complexities of the modern age, decentralization doesn't provide the resources necessary to be successful," said Lokken. "They would not have the resources they need to be viable."
Lokken said he understands the frustration. "California is the eighth largest economy in the world with more than 37 million residents. It's a large state and people sometimes get frustrated with the sheer size of the economy and population, but dividing it makes no sense."
Some California news outlets are reporting there have been more than 200 attempts in California history aimed at dividing the state and all have failed.