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Could San Bernardino County secede from California? Voters may have a say in November

Christian Martinez, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

The threat of secession has long been a weapon for dissatisfied political minorities in California, the most populous state in the nation and one of the most liberal. Conservative forces in far Northern California have tried repeatedly to create their own state with no success. A proposal to break up California into multiple states also foundered. There is no indication this one would turn out any differently.

Hagman told the Los Angeles Times that a vote on the issue would show "the seriousness of the public."

Supervisor Dawn Rowe called secession an "extreme example" of an action that could be taken and expressed skepticism that splitting from the state would be feasible.

"I received an overwhelming support in favor of looking at all of our options, (and) several that told us that we were crazy for considering such a thing," Rowe said. "They were interested in basically having a voice and having hope that their elected representatives were listening to them and that they were frustrated.

"I do have significant concerns about what it would mean if we were to look at going off on our own independently," she said, citing concerns about secession's effects on school and mental health funding.

Supervisor Joe Baca was more blunt in his assessment.

"I am not in favor of secession," he said. "I just don't believe that we have the resources or wherewithal, the staff or ability to create our own state."


"I'm proud to be from California. I love California," he said.

Baca still voted in favor of putting the measure on the ballot, saying he supported looking at funding levels.

"It's clear that people are hurting; let's go out and get more (funding), and let's make sure we help them," he said.

Supervisor Janice Rutherford viewed the vote as a way for constituents to express "a growing palpable anger" at the state, while also adding that secession would be unfeasible.


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