In a move hoping to tackle the state’s rising crime rates, California Assemblyman Juan Alanis (R-Modesto) has proposed a bill to repeal Proposition 47.
Proposition 47, passed by voters in 2014 with nearly 60 percent of the vote, raised the felony threshold for theft in retail stores from $400 to $950, limited jail time for misdemeanors to a maximum of six months, and reduced some drug-related crimes from felonies to misdemeanors.
The bill was part of a criminal reform effort to alleviate prison overcrowding, but it has faced criticism for an increase in crime, particularly property theft, across the state’s largest cities since it passed.
Alanis, who also sits as the Chairman of the Assembly Public Safety Committee, proposed his new bill—AB 335—which, if approved, would roll back the statutes of Proposition 47, with the exception of the lesser penalty for possessing concentrated cannabis since marijuana is legal in the state.
The legislation must be approved by the electorate, presumably in the 2024 statewide General Election.
Polls have demonstrated that two-thirds of California voters desire either the repeal of or substantial modifications to Proposition 47.
The recent surge in criminal activity in cities like San Francisco has prompted multiple legislative attempts to undo Proposition 47, or some of its components, within the last year.
However, none garnered enough votes to move out of committees.
A troubling trend emerged in 2021 as property crime rose in 24 California counties compared to 2020. Thirteen counties saw double-digit increases with San Francisco the most, increasing by nearly 17 percent, according to a report by the Public Policy Institute of California in October 2022.
Additionally, San Francisco recorded the highest rate of property crime at 2,718 incidents per 100,000 residents in 2021, the report said.
“I have had serious conversations with members on both sides of the aisle now regarding crime and public safety,” Alanis said in an interview with The Epoch Times. “I am hopeful something meaningful can come of it and we can win bipartisan support for real changes to solve these very real problems.”
But even with bill proposals regarding such losing out recently, Alanis said he believes this time will be different.
“I think a lot has changed in recent times with regard to the voters’ views on crime,” he said. “But even if the majority blocked this bill, it has already accomplished my main intent in introducing it, which is to start real honest conversations about California’s crime problems.”
It is anticipated the bill, which proposes an increased emphasis on arrests, will face resistance from Democrats and criminal justice organizations, and activists who advocate for crime reduction through community-based initiatives rather than arrests.
From The Epoch Times