I have to agree with the hold-out supervisors who want to thoroughly vet the idea of joining in the State of Jefferson movement. There are so many details to consider and I think every single one of them should be explored and all questions answered. I have a few questions of my own concerning the financial aspect of this move.
Since the counties that will be included in the new state are relatively financially poor, with lots of us under-the -poverty-level citizens, it would be nice to know how the new state is going to handle the poverty rate.
Many low income people depend on social services provided by the state of California. Will they still have access to such services, like a Jefferson version of Medicaid? How about the state’s contribution to SSI? California pays a high contribution rate. If Jefferson does not, poor people will be even poorer.
And what about minimum wage? California pays more than the federal minimum wage, will Jefferson offer the same or will they reduce it to the federal standard? If wages are reduced expect even more poverty in the new state.
And the DMV – will I need a new state issued driver’s license, and at what cost? I need to change the address on my current license but can’t afford to spend $36 on something I can’t eat. Will I be forced to do so anyway if we become Jefferson?
Then there’s higher education. What kind of funding will be available from the state for financial aid for college, like California’s EOP or Pell grants? Or will the state follow the lead of its namesake and provide free college?
There are so many services provided by the state that people in our community depend on, I worry that the new State of Jefferson may not be as accommodating. What’s to become of the substantial poverty-level population? If we don’t fare as well in the new state, I don’t see any motivation to support it. Things are hard enough, survival is a struggle, I doubt those who are struggling would want to see their situation get worse.
After all the details have been worked out it would be nice to have the whole plan mailed to every person being affected by this move. We all have a right to have the details of what we’re getting into.