By Michael Warnken | CalWatchdog
SACRAMENTO — This issue of Splitting California into two or more states has come into the greater public eye once again. This matter is dredged up every few years by a different group of Californians who are not happy with current arrangements. A recent proponent was Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone.
However often the issue of splitting the state has been brought up, the actual splitting has never occurred. This leaves the question for many of us: How does a state get split? The further question that needs to be asked and answered is: What needs to occur in order to actually cause a State to split?
The process of splitting a state is codified in Article IV Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution:
“New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.”
The state splitting process generally begins when a state’s legislature first votes to split the state. Once the measure passes both chambers of that state, it is submitted to Congress. Once there, the matter is discussed. If both chambers of Congress vote to pass it, the state can then be split.
There seem to be two options on how a state can split. In the first instance, the state decides how it’s going to be split before sending the proposal to Congress.
In the other instance, the state does not decide how to split itself before the bill is sent to Congress. Congress generally establishes a partition committee once the bill to split a state has been affirmed by Congress.