California will be staying in one piece, at least for now, after the state’s supreme court ruled that a proposal to divide California into three cannot be placed on the ballot in November. Tim Draper, a wealthy venture capitalist, has spent years arguing that the Golden State would be better off as several smaller states. He says California is too large to be governed effectively and that splitting up would result in “better decision making and real solutions closer to home.” This year, he got enough signatures to put it before voters — although experts said that even if the proposal passed, it would face a range of daunting legal and political hurdles. Then the Planning and Conservation League (PCL), a nonprofit environmental group in California, filed a lawsuit to block the measure from getting to a vote.
The PCL says the proposal amounts to a change in the state constitution, which must be decided by the Legislature before it goes to voters, The Sacramento Bee reports.
“We opposed the measure because splitting the state up doesn’t solve any of our existing challenges, it just makes them worse,” Howard Penn, the executive director of PCL, told NPR via email. “We have worked hard for the past 50 plus years on statewide policies that help make California a healthy place to live. If the state gets split up into three parts, it would be like hitting the reset button and starting over.”