Villapudua targets reforms to Prop. 47 via initiative

With retail theft continuing to be a major issue across the Golden State, a Democrat is looking to overhaul Prop 47.

California’s controversial Proposition 47 – which critics blame for the rise of retail theft – is under fire once again. 

This time, however, it’s a Democrat who is looking to overhaul the law. 


The backstory: California voters passed Proposition 47 in 2014, which reclassified most drug offenses and property thefts – such as retail theft – valued under $950 to misdemeanors. 

The big picture: Asm. Carlos Villapudua (D–Stockton) announced Wednesday that he is introducing a referendum to bring comprehensive reform to Proposition 47. 

  • Villapudua’s bill would do away with the $950 threshold for misdemeanors, revising it to a level he says would hold habitual criminals more accountable. 
  • It would support diversion programs for those more likely to commit retail theft. 
  • Villapudua’s proposal would also allow judges to exercise discretion to provide more professional judgment on different circumstances. 

What they’re saying: “Businesses and the safety of customers are at risk due to the unintended outcomes of Proposition 47,” Villapudua said in a statement. “Much like many of the criminal justice challenges we face, we need a multifaceted approach to rein in the onslaught of retail theft across California. I am committed to addressing this in a comprehensive and equitable manner by introducing targeted policy reforms for a safer and more just society.” 

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