San Bernardino County supervisors urged to secede from California, form new state named 'Empire'

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Wednesday, July 27, 2022
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A local real estate developer is urging San Bernardino County to secede from California.

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. -- A local real estate developer and two mayors are urging San Bernardino County to secede from California.

If successful, the improbable plan would establish the first new state since Hawaii was granted statehood in 1959.

On Tuesday night, Rancho Cucamonga businessman Jeff Burum asked the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors to put an advisory measure on the November ballot.

Burum wants the county to be turned into a new state, possibly named "Empire." He criticized state officials as being ineffective and disconnected from the needs of people in the Inland Empire.

"Our judges are constantly taxed with too much, with not enough resources," Burum said during the public comment section of the Board of Supervisors meeting. "The state of California continues to allocate resources to the high-cost areas to our detriment and other Inland Valley communities. It's time to stop it. It's time for our citizens to stand up and say, 'Enough is enough.'"

The mayors of Fontana and Upland both spoke in favor of the longshot plan.

Even if San Bernardino County voters were to approve secession, the state Legislature and U.S. Congress would still have to approve it.