Riverside supervisors call for Southern California secession

Riverside County 3rd district Supervisor Jeff Stone
Riverside County 3rd district Supervisor Jeff Stone

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On Tuesday, Riverside County supervisors endorsed the idea of a 51st state: South California. Supervisor Jeff Stone proposed that 13 counties - including San Bernardino, Orange, and his own Riverside County – secede from the rest of the state.

High taxes and a budget plan that diverts millions of dollars from city and county agencies are some reasons he offers for the breakup. Stone’s fellow supervisors agreed that it’s a good notion, but declined to furnish any public money for a secession movement.

Political Analyst Bob Stern told KPCC’s Larry Mantle that the idea - however impractical - might make the most populated state easier to govern.

“If you did split the state," he said, "it would mean that visibility of state government would be much higher here in Southern California, after all Sacramento is almost 400 miles away and how much attention do we pay to it?"

"If we had a capital down here, let’s say in San Bernardino or in Los Angeles, we would be paying much more attention to what’s going on in state government. And I think state government would be much more responsive to Southern California.”

Bob Stern heads the Center for Governmental Studies, a nonpartisan think tank based in Los Angeles.