Riverside County Supervisor Stone proposes splitting California

News headline from the Office of Supervisor Jeff Stone:

About a dozen counties – from San Diego to Mono – would be asked to consider a split from California to establish a new state with a balanced budget, secure borders, effective schools and a vibrant economy under a plan proposed today by Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone.cacounties444.jpgcutcash333.jpg

“California was once the world’s fourth largest economy and now struggles to hold on to eighth place,” Stone said. “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.”castateflag333.jpg

Stone said he will outline the proposal in a report headed to the Board of Supervisors on July 12.

He suggests the counties of Riverside, Imperial, San Diego, Orange, San Bernardino, Kings, Kern, Fresno, Tulare, Inyo, Madera, Mariposa and Mono be asked to consider forming the State of South California. Boards of supervisors and city councils within those counties would be invited to meet and discuss the feasibility of secession from California, Stone said.

In explaining his proposal, Stone said:
*       California’s taxes are among the highest in the nation yet our deteriorating
services slip year after year while state officials prop up disastrous budget
policies by draining resources needed to help local residents.
*       Regulations to control greenhouse gasses, and other unnecessary rules, have
chased businesses out of California and devastated the economy.*       Political infighting has paralyzed California for more than decade, creating
a state that is too large to govern.*       A huge portion of the state’s residents are on some form of public
assistance and California has about 30 percent of the nation’s welfare load yet only
12 percent of the population.*       With limited resources available, California provides benefits that include
in-state tuition to illegal immigrants, minimizing the financial resources available
for legal residents who pay taxes.*       Once the darling of public education, California ranks 48th among states in
test scores by one measure yet spends an exorbitant portion of the state budget on

Stone suggested the new state consider a part-time legislature, shifting governance
more toward local control. Part-time legislators might receive only a $600 per month
stipend and no other financial benefits except travel expenses to the new state
capitol, he said.

Also open for consideration would be doing away with term limits, actually enforcing the state’s borders, adopting reasonable sales taxes and a provision like Prop. 13 that would control property taxes. Counties and cities interested in the proposal, including those Stone has not already identified, would be invited to sit down and discuss the proposal.budgetgfx333.jpg

Stone said he will suggest that the Riverside County Executive Office coordinate a meeting at the Riverside Convention Center as soon as possible. He proposes that the county counsel’s office in each county offer suggestions about forming the 51st state. Residents and officials from each county and city would be welcome to offer ideas and testimony, he said.

“Are there huge challenges? Absolutely,” Stone acknowledged. “But the destruction of California has to stop and we won’t know what we can accomplish unless we sit down and consider the possibilities.”

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Thursday, June 30, 2011

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