Three Californias? Court rejects vote on carving up state

LOS ANGELES: Californians won't be voting after all this November on whether the Golden State should be carved up into three separate states.

The state Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a move that would have put the controversial initiative on the ballot for the mid-term elections.

The measure, known as Proposition 9, had earned enough signatures to be placed on the Nov 6, 2018 ballot but the state's highest court torpedoed the move.

In a unanimous decision, the court said it opposed the proposal because of "significant questions" about its validity and "potential harm."

Proposition 9, also known as "Cal 3," would split the sprawling western state into three states: California, Northern California and Southern California, each with a population of around 13 million.

Supporters claimed this would result in a "more effective education system, more sensible taxes and more reliable roads."

The measure was backed by Timothy Draper, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist who expressed disappointment that "tens of millions of voters won't have a chance to make this decision."

"The establishment doesn't want to find out how many people don't like the way California is being governed," Draper said in a statement.

Proposition 9 was opposed by both the Democratic and Republican parties and the Los Angeles Times praised the court decision.

"In a welcome bit of relief, California will avoid a convoluted, messy and completely unnecessary battle this November over breaking up the Golden State," it said in an editorial. — AFP