California has cleared its first hurdle to going from one state to three smaller states.

Golden State residents who support billionaire Tim Draper's initiative to break the state into smaller parts will now begin collecting signatures to get the plan on next year's election ballot.

The plan proposes making the area including and north of San Francisco into one state, a coastal region extending south to Los Angeles another state, and everywhere south and east of those a third state.

If approved by residents, Congress would have the final say on the matter.

Draper previously pushed for a similar proposal in 2014, but the plan failed. He has said this new push would give residents three smaller forms of government.