This is one way to escape California’s crippling financial crisis.
A Republican lawmaker in Southern California wants as many as thirteen counties from the southern part of the state to secede from the almost-bankrupt state and form its own new state entity, which would be the nation’s 51st .
Jeff Stone, a Republican who serves on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, wants to convene a meeting of political leaders from southern California to discuss it.
California was once the world's fourth largest economy and now struggles to hold on to eighth place, he said in a statement. Our taxes are too high, our schools don't educate our children well enough, unions and other special interests have more clout in the Legislature than the general public. It has to change.
Stone declared that Riverside, Imperial, San Diego, Orange, San Bernardino, Kings, Kern, Fresno, Tulare, Inyo, Madera, Mariposa and Mono counties should form the new state of “South California.”
(However, this would exclude three counties along the Pacific coast, including Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties).
Stone told the Los Angeles Times that he does not want Los Angeles County since they have the same liberal policies that Sacramento does.
Indeed, the states deemed to be part of “South California” are predominantly Republican and wealthy.
The last thing I want to do is a create a state that's a carbon copy of what we have now.
The proposal has already been lambasted by others.
It's a supremely ridiculous waste of everybody's time, said Gil Duran, spokesman for California Governor Jerry Brown. If you want to live in a Republican state with very conservative right-wing laws, then there's a place called Arizona.
Duran also told The Press-Enterprise newspaper: A secessionist movement? What is this, 1860?
Bob Buster, Riverside County Supervisor, described the proposal as a crazy distraction.