San Bernardino County Will Study Secession. Here’s What It Means.

San Bernardino County’s secession measure has been certified with 50.62% of the vote. So is it time to secede and form the Empire State? Not so fast.

Measure EE was more than a secession measure. It was a call to research the issue of state funds and determine why San Bernardino allegedly isn’t getting its fair share. 

The county will now form a committee of private and public sector leaders to study the issue. We can expect the committee to start by analyzing the aount of funding San Bernardino County receives from the state relative to other counties in California. 

With a population of 2.2 million people, San Bernardino is the fifth most populous county in California and one of the largest by land mass. Yet it ranks 36 out of 58 counties for per-capita state and federal revenue received. 

Per Measure EE, the county will “research and advocate for all methods (including secession from the state) for receiving an equitable share of state funding and resources.”

There is virtually zero chance that San Bernardino will actually secede. That would require approval from both the California Legislature and Congress. What supporters hope the measure will do is bring attention to the complaints of San Bernardinans, who have long felt slighted and alienated by leaders in Sacramento. That’s how the measure ended up with support from a majority of county supervisors, plus the mayors of cities like Fontana and Upland.

County Supervisor Curt Hagman had this to say over the summer:  

“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 that would be acceptable.”