Secession is not an option in California

It goes without saying that Modoc and Siskiyou counties aren’t going to secede from California. Their county supervisors have passed resolutions expressing the desire to form a new State of Jefferson, and by some reports, Shasta, Lassen and Redding counties are considering similar measures. But actual secession would require approval from the state Legislature and Congress, and that’s not a realistic possibility—fortunately for the secessionists.

Like many of the state’s remote rural areas, Modoc and Siskiyou have aging populations, high poverty rates and few jobs. They get far more money in state services than they pay in taxes. The government is the largest employer, accounting for more than one in three paychecks. Secession would be a complete disaster for them.

So what’s behind the secession “movement”? Essentially, irresponsible conservative politicians and a handful of activists who find it easier to paint the government as the source of all evil than to address the need for economic development, lack of health care, substance abuse and other issues facing rural Northern California.

Opting out of the state won’t solve any of these problems. It’s time for the secessionists to drop the theatrics and work with the rest of California for the future of their counties.