Effort to split California in two states gathers more supporters

Organizers says three more Northern California counties have joined a movement to form a separate state from California called Jefferson. Their motivation for a new state comes from what they call a lack of representation at the state level.

Thursday, state of Jefferson organizers delivered petitions to lawmakers. The petitions have signatures from constituents in Yuba, Tehama and Glenn counties. The three counties are in addition to Modoc and Siskiyou counties petitioning for the right to form a 51 state.

"What we are doing is we are separating under article 4 , section 3 of the Constitution due to lack of representation," state of Jefferson organizer Jenny Rapini said.

Rapini says some legislative districts are composed of 11 Northern California counties. Those counties each have one senator for representation and due to a lack of representation, industries such as fishing, ranching, logging and mining have been virtually regulated out of existence. Rapini said many of those counties have lost 43 percent of those businesses due to regulations. State of Jefferson supporters believe forming a separate state could make those areas financially viable .

"The whole northern third of California has a total of … three Assembly and three Senate representatives here in the capitol," Rapini said. "Los Angeles County alone has 35 representatives. So our voice doesn't matter here no matter who we put intooffice. Our voice doesn't count, our whole third can vote opposite of the state and it doesn't matter and it isn't constitutional that we not be represented. And that's what we argue is just equal representation."


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