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Supervisor's proposal for summit on new state scaled back

July 12, 2011 |  7:27 pm

A Riverside County supervisor’s proposal for a summit to discussing breaking off a major chunk of Southern California to form a new state was significantly scaled back by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

Instead of secession, the supervisors voted to host a statewide summit to allow city and county officials from across the state to discuss state budget issues and Sacramento policies that hurt local government services and job creation, and also discuss turning the Legislature into a part-time body.

The action comes after Supervisor Jeff Stone, a Republican pharmacist from Temecula, advocated forming the new state of South California. Stone said state government was too dysfunctional to be repaired.

Under his prosposal, the counties of Riverside, Fresno, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Mono, Orange, San Bernardino, San Diego and Tulare would break away from California to form the nation’s 51st state. Stone stressed, however, that he was amenable to other configurations.

Combined, those counties are home to about 13 million people. Republicans account for the majority of registered voters in all of those counties except San Diego, San Bernardino and Imperial.

Stone modified his proposal on Tuesday. His fellow supervisors said they sympathized with frustrations, but voted not to allow any county funds or staff to be used to host the summit.

-- Phil Willon