BILL WOULD STRENGTHEN PROP 47 AS PART OF A COMPREHENSIVE SOLUTION TO RETAIL THEFT FOR CONSUMERS, STORES, AND NEIGHBORHOODS
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D – Torrance), in partnership with the California Retailers Association and the California Hotel and Lodging Association, has introduced Assembly Bill 2390, which would strengthen existing Proposition 47 (2014) provisions by allowing separate instances of retail theft to be counted in aggregate toward the existing $950 felony threshold approved by voters in 2014.
“Property theft is a major problem in California. My bill, AB 2390, would hold criminal offenders accountable while providing diversion programs to address the root causes of the crime, such as poverty, mental disorder, or childhood trauma,” said Assembly Member Al Muratsuchi, who introduced the bill. “Currently too many offenders charged with a misdemeanor for theft under $950 are not given any jail time and often re-offend. This bill would help deter serial theft by holding offenders accountable while offering necessary support services so that they will not re-offend.”
This desperately needed legislation would open the door for thousands of additional offenders to be eligible for diversion programs established by Proposition 47 — which would deter serial theft and provide individuals an off-ramp from incarceration and into effective and life-changing diversion and job training programs.
“We need to strengthen and reform California’s underutilized diversion programs to create viable alternatives to jail through rehabilitation that diverts repeat offenders — helping them grow and change. Assembly Bill 2390 (Muratsuchi) prioritizes diversion and job training and provides the tools for repeat offenders to make better life choices. This is truly a policy all stakeholders can get behind,” stated California Retailers Association president and CEO Rachel Michelin. The California Retailers Association is co-sponsoring the legislation and also chairing a new statewide coalition — Californians for Safe Stores and Neighborhoods — that supports AB 2390.
While amendments to previously approved initiatives typically must go back to the ballot for final voter approval, the state’s Legislative Counsel has confirmed the proposed changes strengthen the spirit of the initiative and therefore only require adoption by two-thirds of both state houses and the signature of Governor Gavin Newsom.
AB 2390 gives members of the Legislature a highly sought-after opportunity to pass a balanced policy proposal that safeguards existing criminal justice reforms while demonstrating that Sacramento is attentive to public safety concerns of Californians.
It is scheduled to be heard in committee on April 5.
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