SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGO) -- With 600,000 signatures submitted, a proposal to divide California into three states has qualified for the November ballot. Proponents of the ballot measure say California is just too big and unmanageable. And it's losing people because of high taxes and a quality of life on the decline due to traffic and other issues.
"We see people leaving California in droves," said Peggy Grande, a spokesperson for Citizens for Cal 3, "and this is an opportunity for Californians from a wide variety of demographics and geography to say they want something more and different and better."
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San Francisco and Sacramento would be part of the state of Northern California with a population of 13 million versus nearly 40 million for a single state.
The coastal area from Monterey to Los Angeles will be called California and have about 12 million residents. A new Southern California would encompass much of the Central Valley, Orange County and San Diego with 14 million people.
The ballot measure does not address how to divide up the state's extensive assets. The Silicon Valley Leadership Group, made up of CEO's from tech and other companies, has not taken a stand but sees plenty of obstacles that could be costly.
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"How do you divide up a one-state transportation set of systems, water delivery in one state that's already a fight as one California, our energy grid?" wondered Carl Guardino, Leadership Group CEO.
Not to mention the need to build two new state capital buildings. And the need to finish funding and building high-speed rail.
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Steve Maviglio, a spokesman for "One California," which opposes the plan, said, "I think it's a colossal waste of time and resources, millions of dollars that could be spent improving our schools. Breaking up the state... isn't going to solve a problem. It's going to magnify it times three."
Becoming three states would triple the number of U.S. Senators from two to six. The number of representatives in the House likely stand at 53 but will be divided three ways.
Congress would still need to approve the division if the measure passes.
Plenty of obstacles remain if voters decide to split California in 3
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