Sat. Jul 13th, 2024


California lawmakers this week are expected to vote on a last-minute, fast-tracked crime initiative that could result in voters seeing not one, but two crime-related questions on the November ballot.Gov. Gavin Newsom and a handful of Democratic lawmakers on Sunday night finalized their proposed initiative that attempts to compete with an initiative that has already qualified for the ballot backed by law enforcement and business groups to toughen penalties for thieves and drug dealers. The initiative that has already qualified is known as the Homelessness, Drug Addiction, and Theft Reduction Act(Previous coverage in video player above: Gov. Newsom, Legislative leaders consider putting new crime initiative on ballot)At the crux of the issue is Proposition 47, an initiative voters approved a decade ago that loosened the penalties for drug and theft crimes. Critics have blamed the law for a rise in crime, drug use and homelessness. Legislative leaders and the governor this year have repeatedly stated they did not think Proposition 47 needed change and neither has commented yet on the effort to put together the competing initiative, which KCRA 3 first reported last week. Multiple sources told KCRA 3 on Sunday the governor had spent the weekend gathering up support from Democratic lawmakers for a legislative initiative.For drug dealers, the legislative initiative would create a new felony for those who lace fentanyl into other drugs, punishable up to to six years in county jail. It would also require courts issue warnings to convicted fentanyl dealers that if they do it again and someone dies, they could face homicide charges. This is known as Alexandra’s Law. For repeat thieves, the legislative measure would establish new penalties for those who commit three acts of petty theft or shoplifting within three years of each other. They could face up to three years in jail and face either a misdemeanor or felony. It would create a new felony if a person has been punished under that provision previously within 3 years. The legislative measure would also send money established through Prop 47 that would be used to expand mental health and drug treatment programs. The legislative initiative would be the second initiative question on the ballot, known as Proposition 2, according to a separate piece of legislation filed Sunday night. To voters, the legislative initiative and law enforcement-backed initiative may appear very similar. Critics of the measure that has already qualified have said it is too harsh. The penalties in the legislative measure include jail time, while the other initiative is more broad and gives judges discretion when deciding if drug offenders go to county jail or prison. The already qualified measure also requires prison time for certain offenses.If the legislative initiative gets more votes than the law enforcement-backed initiative, the provisions in the law enforcement backed initiative would be canceled. Typically, to place a measure on the ballot immediately, the proposed initiative would need a 2/3 vote from the legislature. The bill carrying the legislative initiative also calls for a “special election” to consider the measure on election day, therefore only requiring a simple majority vote to send this to the ballot. Lawmakers are slated to vote on the measure Wednesday night. Gov. Newsom and Legislative leaders attempted to negotiate the already qualified measure off the ballot, but those talks broke down as a key ballot deadline neared. Lawmakers attempted to leverage a set of retail theft bills by adding controversial amendments to kill the proposed laws had voters approved the Proposition 47 reform initiative passed. At first, lawmakers claimed the retail theft bills and initiative conflicted. Support for the retail theft bills dwindled and by early last week, the package did not have enough votes to pass. Legislative leaders were forced to remove the amendments Saturday night and finalize a new strategy that was officially put into motion Sunday night. It’s not clear if the legislative initiative will have the votes to land on the November ballot.

California lawmakers this week are expected to vote on a last-minute, fast-tracked crime initiative that could result in voters seeing not one, but two crime-related questions on the November ballot.

Gov. Gavin Newsom and a handful of Democratic lawmakers on Sunday night finalized their proposed initiative that attempts to compete with an initiative that has already qualified for the ballot backed by law enforcement and business groups to toughen penalties for thieves and drug dealers. The initiative that has already qualified is known as the Homelessness, Drug Addiction, and Theft Reduction Act

(Previous coverage in video player above: Gov. Newsom, Legislative leaders consider putting new crime initiative on ballot)

At the crux of the issue is Proposition 47, an initiative voters approved a decade ago that loosened the penalties for drug and theft crimes. Critics have blamed the law for a rise in crime, drug use and homelessness.

Legislative leaders and the governor this year have repeatedly stated they did not think Proposition 47 needed change and neither has commented yet on the effort to put together the competing initiative, which KCRA 3 first reported last week. Multiple sources told KCRA 3 on Sunday the governor had spent the weekend gathering up support from Democratic lawmakers for a legislative initiative.

For drug dealers, the legislative initiative would create a new felony for those who lace fentanyl into other drugs, punishable up to to six years in county jail. It would also require courts issue warnings to convicted fentanyl dealers that if they do it again and someone dies, they could face homicide charges. This is known as Alexandra’s Law.

For repeat thieves, the legislative measure would establish new penalties for those who commit three acts of petty theft or shoplifting within three years of each other. They could face up to three years in jail and face either a misdemeanor or felony. It would create a new felony if a person has been punished under that provision previously within 3 years.

The legislative measure would also send money established through Prop 47 that would be used to expand mental health and drug treatment programs. The legislative initiative would be the second initiative question on the ballot, known as Proposition 2, according to a separate piece of legislation filed Sunday night.

To voters, the legislative initiative and law enforcement-backed initiative may appear very similar. Critics of the measure that has already qualified have said it is too harsh. The penalties in the legislative measure include jail time, while the other initiative is more broad and gives judges discretion when deciding if drug offenders go to county jail or prison. The already qualified measure also requires prison time for certain offenses.

If the legislative initiative gets more votes than the law enforcement-backed initiative, the provisions in the law enforcement backed initiative would be canceled.

Typically, to place a measure on the ballot immediately, the proposed initiative would need a 2/3 vote from the legislature. The bill carrying the legislative initiative also calls for a “special election” to consider the measure on election day, therefore only requiring a simple majority vote to send this to the ballot.

Lawmakers are slated to vote on the measure Wednesday night.

Gov. Newsom and Legislative leaders attempted to negotiate the already qualified measure off the ballot, but those talks broke down as a key ballot deadline neared.

Lawmakers attempted to leverage a set of retail theft bills by adding controversial amendments to kill the proposed laws had voters approved the Proposition 47 reform initiative passed. At first, lawmakers claimed the retail theft bills and initiative conflicted.

Support for the retail theft bills dwindled and by early last week, the package did not have enough votes to pass. Legislative leaders were forced to remove the amendments Saturday night and finalize a new strategy that was officially put into motion Sunday night.

It’s not clear if the legislative initiative will have the votes to land on the November ballot.




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#Lawmakers #vote #adding #crime #initiative #California #ballot

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