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It’s over: Billionaire kills plan to split California into 3 states

POSTED August 12, 2018 2:09 a.m.
It’s over: California won’t vote to split into three states.

Billionaire Tim Draper wrote in a letter to the California Supreme Court, which was made public Thursday, that he’s ending his effort to restructure California into three separate states this November, according to The Associated Press.

“The political environment for radical change is right now,” Draper said in his letter. “The removal of Proposition 9 from the November ballot has effectively put an end to this movement.”

Back in July, the state Supreme Court struck down Draper’s measure after a lawsuit contested the idea of splitting California into three states, according to my report for the Deseret News.

Draper had an opportunity to fight the ruling to help bring back the measure on future ballots. The venture capitalist, who spent $1.7 million to help bring the initiative to the ballot, will not move forward with the case.

Draper’s plan hoped to split California into three states — “Northern California,” “California” and “Southern California.” He collected more than 400,000 signatures, which are required to bring a proposal to the November ballot in California, according to my report.

But in July, an environmental group sued to remove the measure from the ballot, arguing the measure, if approved by voters, would require a constitutional convention to make the move happen, Fox News reported.

“In seeking to remove this initiative from the ballot, we are asking the court to protect the integrity of both the initiative process and our state constitution,” an attorney representing the environmental group, Carlyle Hall, said in a statement. “Proponents should not be able to evade the state constitution simply by qualifying a measure as one thing, when it is so clearly another.”

The California Supreme Court said there were “substantial” questions about the proposition and that they wanted to review it more before adding it to a ballot.

The court said the harm of allowing the bill “outweighs the potential harm in delaying it” for a future election,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Critics worried about Draper’s plan for a few months. A report from Bloomberg outlined many of the criticisms, including the fact there isn’t any hard and fast rule on how Congress can allow states to split (it hasn’t happened since West Virginia split from Virginia during the Civil War).

And there were political concerns since Congress would need to approve the measure. California tends to lean blue during election season, so it’s unlikely Republicans would approve more Democrats into Congress, according to Bloomberg.

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