RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Thirteen mostly conservative California counties would break away to create a 51st state known as South California under a proposal by an elected official that would have to clear major hurdles to succeed.
Republican Jeff Stone has asked members of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors to support a motion to bring together officials from the 13 counties to discuss the idea. A vote on the proposed meeting is scheduled for today.
Stone said California is too big to govern, a situation that has led the state to raid local government coffers because of runaway spending.
The U.S. Constitution says no new state can be formed without the consent of Congress and the state Legislature.
Gil Duran, a spokesman for California Gov. Jerry Brown, said Stone’s proposal is “a supremely ridiculous waste of everybody’s time.”
“If you want to live in a Republican state with very conservative right-wing laws, then there’s a place called Arizona,” Duran told the newspaper.
Stone’s version of South California would not include Los Angeles County. Instead, it would encompass coastal Orange and San Diego counties, and more sparsely populated, inland areas such as Fresno, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Mono, Riverside, San Bernardino and Tulare counties.
Combined, those counties have about 13 million people.