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The lawn California State Capitol is seen in Sacramento is seen on June 18, 2014 in Sacramento, California. As the California drought conitnues, the grounds at the California State Capitol are under a reduced watering program and groundskeepers have let sections of the lawn die off in an effort to use less water. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 498523367 ORIG FILE ID: 450822242 / Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Representatives of two counties in far Northern California are petitioning state lawmakers for the right to form a 51st state called Jefferson.

Modoc and Siskiyou counties have a combined population of about 53,000. They submitted petitions from their county governments to the secretaries of the state Assembly and Senate on Thursday.

They also filed a petition with the secretary of state complaining about a lack of representation.

Supporters rallied outside the Capitol in green shirts with the movement's logo: two X's and a coiled snake. Their petitions say "California is too large to govern" and should be split into two or more states.

They say the U.S. Constitution allows a region to petition the government for secession. If lawmakers ignore the petition, Jefferson proponents say it will give them standing to sue.



Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Read the original story: 2 California counties ask to form separate state

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