California group secures signatures to land Prop 47 reform penalizing criminals on November ballot

California Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber, Ph.D. notified county election officials on Tuesday that petitioners had garnered more than enough signatures to place a measure to reform Proposition 47 on the November ballot.Prop 47, a voter-approved initiative passed in 2014, loosened the penalties for drug and theft crimes in California and has been blamed for California’s rampant theft problems.Californians for Safer Communities, a bipartisan group made up of law enforcement, elected officials and businesses, said it had collected more than 900,000 signatures in support of the proposed amendment to reform Prop 47 in order to increase penalties for criminals. On Tuesday, the Secretary of State’s office notified election officials the measure had become eligible to be on the ballot.CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATS ‘PLAYING DIRTY TRICKS’ TO KEEP PROP 47 REFORM OFF BALLOT, GOP LEADER SAYSIn order to become eligible, petitioners need 5% of the total votes cast for governor in the November 2022 general election, or 546,651 signatures.The measure can also become eligible via random sampling of petition signatures if the sampling projects the number of valid signatures is greater than 110% of the required number, or 601,317 projected valid signatures.The group collected a total of 910,441 signatures, and through random sampling, 652,100 were considered valid, exceeding the required threshold.NEWSOM PROPOSES DEFUNDING LAW ENFORCEMENT, PRISONS, PUBLIC SAFETY AS CALIFORNIA FACES MASSIVE DEFICITOn June 27, 2024, Weber will certify the initiative for the Nov. 5, 2024 ballot, unless the proponents withdraw the measure prior to certification.Prop 47 made several crimes, including shoplifting, grand theft and receiving stolen property, a misdemeanor instead of a felony if the value of the property did not exceed $950. It also lowered the penalty for the personal use of most illegal drugs below a certain weight.Many law enforcement officials have blamed the measure for the uptick in theft and smash-and-grabs that have plagued California in the years since the COVID-19 pandemic. Around the same time, California became synonymous with smash-and-grab crimes as videos of groups of thieves brazenly ransacking stores gained traction online.SACRAMENTO MASS SHOOTING SUSPECT FOUND DEAD IN JAIL CELL WHILE AWAITING TRIALCalifornia Democrats, including Gov. Gavin Newsom, do not support the effort and are pushing some public safety bills circulating throughout the state capital that attempt to address organized retail theft, car break-ins and other crimes. The Democrats prefer those bills go before voters instead of the Prop 47 reform measure.Some Democrats said they plan to introduce inoperability clauses into the set of proposed public safety bills to prevent them from going into effect if voters approve the Prop 47 reforms. They contend that it’s a way to ensure there aren’t any inconsistencies in the law.Fox News Digital has reached out to the California Democratic Party and Californians for Safer Communities.California has some of the toughest thresholds for prosecutors to charge suspects with a felony for theft up to $950, in contrast to other states that have higher thresholds, Newsom’s office told Fox News Digital. Last year, the Democratic governor announced more than $267 million to increase arrests and prosecutions for organized retail crime across the state. Earlier this year, Newsom recalled how he witnessed a shoplifter stealing from Target in Sacramento. He confronted a store employee moments later. “I said, ‘why didn’t you stop him,’” Newsom said during a Zoom meeting on mental health in January. “She goes, ‘oh, the governor.’ Swear to God, true story on my mom’s grave. ‘The governor lowered the threshold, there’s no accountability.’ I said that’s just not true.”Still, the governor’s office said that while Prop 47 is eligible for the ballot today, it will not qualify until June 27.Many law enforcement officials have blamed the measure for the uptick in theft and smash-and-grabs that have plagued California in the years since the COVID-19 pandemic. Around the same time, California became synonymous with smash-and-grab crimes as videos of groups of thieves brazenly ransacking stores gained traction online.Fox News Digital’s Louis Casiano contributed to this report.
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