In the 18 months since Proposition 47 was enacted, a number of flaws in the measure have begun to appear.
Voters were sold on the proposition with the promise that it would save $100 million in prison costs, but only a third of those savings have appeared so far. In addition, crime statistics have started trending in the wrong direction since November 2014. 49 out of the 66 California cities studied in a PPIC report saw increases in violent crimes, while 48 saw increases in property crimes.
And now, this: the California Police Chiefs Association recently released a report showing “a dramatic crime increase in California during 2015, but not in other states.” In fact, the California Retailers Association believe that “retail theft incidents have nearly doubled compared to recent years.”
In a story published this past weekend, the Associated Press reported that “[l]arge retailers including Safeway, Target, Rite Aid and CVS pharmacies say shoplifting increased at least 15 percent, and in some cases doubled, since voters approved Proposition 47 and ended the possibility of charging shoplifting as a felony with the potential for a prison sentence.”
“Californians are clamoring to make common sense fixes to Proposition 47,” said Assemblyman Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale), a retired California Highway Patrolman. “The potential savings promised to taxpayers has not materialized, while small business owners and hardworking Californians are being victimized by criminals who know they will not face punishment for their crimes. The legislature has the power to put a stop to this. It’s time we do.”
Assembly Republicans have introduced a number of reforms to Prop. 47, including: AB 46 (Lackey); AB 1415 (Steinorth); AB 1869 (Melendez); and AB 2369 (Patterson).