Calif. Democrats propose new ballot measure to rival Prop 47 repeal

Democrats are looking to pass a different ballot measure than the one that would largely repeal Proposition 47.

Top California Democrats have unveiled a plan aimed at addressing retail theft by proposing a ballot measure that includes measures to crack down on shoplifting and increase penalties for fentanyl dealers.

This plan was announced as a response to another crime-focused measure proposed by a coalition of business groups, which the lawmakers believe would lead to more individuals being incarcerated.


The big picture: Under the Democrats’ proposal, repeat offenders of shoplifting would face harsher penalties, including making shoplifting a felony for those with prior theft-related convictions, even if they occurred years ago.

  • The three-strike policy for increased sentences would be applicable to any previous theft-related convictions, with harsher punishment for repeat thieves if the convictions occur within three years of each other.
  • Prosecutors would have the authority to aggregate stolen goods amount over three years to pursue harsher offenses under the proposed plan by the California Democrats.

Why it matters: The lawmakers are aiming to get this ballot measure before voters in November, with a deadline set for Wednesday for advancing the plan and delivering it to Governor Gavin Newsom for approval.

  • The initiative put forth by the Democrats seeks to override another initiative tackling retail theft and drug-related crimes, supported by a broad coalition of businesses, law enforcement, and local officials.

Driving the news: Concerns have been raised by Democratic lawmakers that the business-backed initiative would disproportionately impact low-income individuals and those with substance abuse issues instead of targeting organized retail theft operations.

  • The proposed plan by the coalition of retailers and state leaders clashes with aspects of Proposition 47, a progressive ballot measure approved in 2014 to reduce certain theft and drug possession offenses from felonies to misdemeanors.
Related Posts