‘Fix Prop 47’ Initiative Receives Over 900,000 Signatures – Qualifies for November Ballot

‘Ever since the 2020 election, there has been an overall backlash on progressive policies in California’

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(Photo: Dan Henson/Shuttertock)


A signature collection drive to qualify a ballot initiative to amend Proposition 47 ended on Thursday, qualifying The Homelessness, Drug Addiction, and Theft Reduction Act for the November ballot. Californians for Safer Communities Coalition announced that more than 900,000 signatures of the needed 546,651 were collected, and submitted to the Secretary of State’s Office.

Passed in 2014 with a 59.6% 40.4% result,  Prop. 47 recategorized some nonviolent offenses from felonies to misdemeanors. These crimes included, up to an amount of $950, shoplifting, grand theft, receiving stolen property, forgery, and fraud. In addition, most drug use offenses were made misdemeanors as well. While the measure was promoted as a way to reduce crowding in prisons and reallocate money for alternate to prison ways to prevent crime, crime rates soon exploded across the state. Criminals became savvy when shoplifting, making sure not to go above the $950 amount, with some even carrying calculators in stores to make sure they didn’t go over the felony limit.

Law enforcement agencies, even those in liberal areas, denounced the proposition. By 2016, retailers were reporting a 15% to 50% rise in shoplifting across the board. High crime rates continued on into the 2020’s, with Prop 47’s “get out of jail free card” reputation exacerbating related problems in cities such as San Francisco.

Lawmakers from both parties flooded the legislature with bills in an attempt to reign in Prop 47 over the years, including a reset bill in 2022 that would have lowered the felony amount from $950 to $400. However, liberal lawmakers, wanting to show that it could work on the long term, refused to make any alterations to it. An attempt at the ballot box was also made in 2020, with Prop. 20, hoping to toughen sentencing in criminal cases, lower the felony amount to $250, and reduce the number of prison inmates eligible for early parole. However, because of the George Floyd protests still a recent memory for many voters, Prop. 20 was crushed that November 61.7% to only 38.3% in favor.

This led the Californians for Safer Communities Coalition to begin a new proposition initiative in late 2023. The Homelessness, Drug Addiction and Theft Reduction Act was largely funded by small business owners and large retailers alike, all of whom were sick of the continuing losses in the state and having to pull out of some areas as a result.

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According to the initiative, it would do three things:

  1. The measure would hold repeat offenders accountable for the safety of our communities, rather than putting them back on the streets.
  2. The measure would define fentanyl as a hard drug, hold individuals convicted of trafficking fentanyl accountable, and grant judges greater discretion in sentencing drug traffickers.
  3. The measure would provide critical mental health, drug treatment services, and job training within the justice system for people who are homeless and suffering from mental illness or struggling with substance abuse.

Support for, opposition against Prop 47

While some other controversial parts of Prop. 47, such as the felony amount, would not be touched in the initiative, supporters said that this proposition would be a start and would be most palatable to Californian voters as a whole.

“We’re here from both sides because Prop 47 simply isn’t working as intended,” said Yolo County DA Jeff Reisig a few months ago. “We’ve seen the retail theft crisis spiral out of control and fentanyl is a crisis fueling the highest death rate we’ve ever seen. This is a commonsense fix to have some accountability again. It’s very balanced, very humane, and focused on treatment.”

Click here to read the full article in the California Globe

Comments

  1. “‘Ever since the 2020 election, there has been an overall backlash on progressive policies in California”
    I disagree. My view is that, although Dems dominated elective office, conservatives could still qualify get approval for some Propositions.
    But then we got to the point that the Props were qualified but failed.
    Most recently sensible and high profile Props could not even get sufficient signatures– witness the HJTA effort “Repeal the Death Tax”.

    It doesn’t help that the evil CA official “Bonta” renames the Props to unfair names. For example “School Choice” got named something like “Force Taxpayers to Pay For Religious Schools” and the new proposed Prop to prevent sterilizing sexual mutilating surgery to young children becomes “Deny Medical Care to Transgender Youth”.
    Disgusting.

  2. Why “fix” Prop 47….it needs to be repealed

  3. Yeah. Let california die and rot. The Democrats are way too stupid to help….

  4. Agreed – REPEAL the dam 47 PROP that should have never been on a ballot in the 1st place. Dam these evil dirty RATS!!!

  5. Why individuals vote these propositions is beyond me, as they never do what they were intended to do. What did they do with Proposition HHH? Went into Newsom’s pocket to give to developers to build more condos which he proposed for homeless but never really intended them for the homeless more for a 15-minute city just like the Cumulus on La Cienega and Barrack alley. He needed to build mental health facilities and stop promoting homeless people to come here from other states by rating us with his executive order a “sanctuary” state, so we attract other homeless people to take care of off the taxpayers’ cash. He also wants to attract others to this state to give free abortions off the taxpayers’ dime as well. He is such a bloodsucking reptile that there can be no way that that piece of feckless, flaccid, disgusting man would ever occupy the WH. He is a slimy, greasy, cheap, arrogant, inept, master of corruption/destruction. Just look at SF and Oakland where his Soro’s funded ass ruined along with gutless Gascon. They are disgusting roaches feasting on the garbage of California.

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