SACRAMENTO — The Secretary of State says backers of an initiative to divide California into six states can start gathering signatures to put it on the ballot.
The plan is the brainchild of Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper, who has backed companies like Hot Mail, Skype and Tesla. He says the state is too large to govern efficiently and that residents don’t have a responsive government.
Just last year, several northern California counties began efforts to form their own state. Draper’s plan gives them their own state, which would be called Jefferson. Sacramento is lumped in with Marin County to form a northern California state. Los Angeles and San Diego anchor two other states.
But some people are skeptical. That’s because one of the six states is called Silicon Valley and includes wealthy San Francisco and San Jose. Critics say Draper is tired of state regulations out of Sacramento that hinder development of technologies like drones and driverless cars. Some believe he wants tax revenues generated by new companies to be put back in high-tech development rather than going to central valley farmers for instance.
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