The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors this week voted to add a November 2022 ballot measure that would allow the county to secede from California.
The measure, which was voted on 4–0 by the supervisors Wednesday, would ask San Bernardino residents: “Do the citizens of San Bernardino County want the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors to study all options to obtain its fair share of state and federal resources, up to and including secession?”
"Now, that last line is the most controversial," said Supervisor Curt Hagman during Wednesday's meeting about the proposal. "It's a question we're going to put to our residents. Do they want to include all options to go after [the] fight for their fair share of taxpayer dollars?" he asked.
Over the years, some California counties have evaluated the possibility of seceding from the Golden State due to monetary, cultural, and other differences. In 2016, a failed ballot measure would have split California into six states, while a 2018 proposition that also failed would have created three new states.
ReasonsSupervisor Joe Baca Jr. said he doesn't want the county to split from California but is interesting in studying whether its residents should receive more state and federal funds.
Hagman concurred with Baca's assertion and noted that it would be acceptable “if the worst thing that comes out of this is a study that will be ammunition for our state representatives to fight for more money for us."
Supervisor Janie Rutherford, meanwhile, said she doesn't "believe it’s feasible politically or financially to secede from California," adding, "I absolutely joined with my constituents who have a growing palpable anger about everything.”
Many Californias are dealing with daily problems, including heavy taxes, the nation's highest gas prices, and widespread homelessness, added Rutherford.
California, she said, has an “ineffective justice system, broken schools, [and] the state’s overreaching counterproductive regulatory schemes, housing and affordability to the ineptness of the state’s preparation for this drought.”
“People pay high taxes, and they do not believe those taxes are coming back to their neighborhoods to address the problems they’re most concerned about,” Rutherford said. “That’s what we heard from our public last week, and there is nothing crazy at all about being angry about those things.”