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California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

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Southern California Supervisor Proposes 51st State

Supervisor Jeff Stone from Riverside County has come up with a new solution to California’s financial situation–creating a new state.

Stone has proposed taking 13 counties in Southern California in the hopes of creating state number 51 in the United States which would be known as “South California.”

This is due in part to the budget recently passed by Governor Jerry Brown and Stone’s belief that California has become “ungovernable.”

Stone’s plan would be to take the more conservative counties of Riverside, San Bernardino, Imperial, San Diego, Orange, Kings, Kern, Fresno, Tulare, Inyo, Madera, Mariposa and Mono in order to create this new state.

Stone purposely left out Los Angeles County because he said the county has become too liberal.

“Los Angeles is purposely excluded because they have the same liberal policies that Sacramento does,” Stone told Los Angeles Times reporter Phil Willon.   “The last thing I want to do is create a state that’s a carbon copy of what we have now. Los Angeles just enacted a ban on plastic grocery bags. That put three or four manufacturers out of business.”

“This has struck a chord with a lot of people in the state who have suffered economically,” he continued in reference to hundreds of supportive e-mails.  “We know it’s going to be a challenge to form a second state, but it’s not impossible. We’re sending a message.’’

Governor Jerry Brown’s office also sent out a message not only calling this a political stunt and that Riverside County should be less worried about creating a new state and should focus more on their financial situation.

“It’s a supremely ridiculous waste of everybody’s time,” Governor Brown’s Spokesman Gil Duran added.  “If you want to live in a Republican state with very conservative right-wing laws, then there’s a place called Arizona.’’

However, this is not the first time that California has talked about splitting up.

The Los Angeles Times estimates that over 220 campaigns have been undertaken since the 1850s in order to split the state up into various pieces.

More recently, the State Assembly wanted to split the state into North, Central, and South California but failed in the State Senate in 1992, 2003 and 2009 and failed each time.

“Secession proposals are just ways of thinking about California, and are also ways for people who feel neglected get the attention that they deserve,” said University of Southern California historian Kevin Starr.  “It’s never passed, and it will never pass. It’s been up to bat 220 times and struck out every time.’’

While history seems to be against Stone’s proposal, Riverside County is expected to hold a statewide conference in order to talk out the proposal and determine its future.

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Southern California Supervisor Proposes 51st State