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Potential Changes Coming to Proposition 47 in November 2024 Ballot

Recent conversations surrounding Proposition 47 has lead to a potential new proposal that could end up on the November ballot, essentially changing and updating proposition 47.
Posted at 6:33 PM, Mar 14, 2024

DELANO, Calif. (KERO) — Proposition 47 may soon be known as the Homelessness, Drug Addiction, and Theft Reduction Act following conversations about change around the prop.

  • Video shows the problems that both the state of California and the community of Delano has faced since the installation of Proposition 47.
  • Prop 47 essentially makes certain crimes a misdemeanor instead of a felony, in turn negatively impacting local buisnesses in Delano.
  • State studies show that because of prop 47, California has seen a 51% increase in homelessness where as the rest of the country has seen an 11% reduction."

In November 2014, Proposition 47 was passed by voters - as a way to lower the prison population by changing certain crimes from felonies to misdemeanors. However, the results of Prop 47 have received a lot of mixed opinions. Recent conversations led to support for a new proposal that could be on the November 2024 ballot.

"Petty theft is out of control, drug addiction out of control. Fentanyl, there's hardly any consequence for dealers so we're trying to correct some of the things that occurred with the passage of prop 47,” said District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer.

In an interview done by 23ABC back in January with District Attorney Zimmer, she says Proposition 47 has negatively impacted Californians since 2014 and was collecting signatures for a new proposition to be placed on the November 2024 ballot.

Zimmer says the new proposal — The Homelessness, Drug Addiction, and Crime Reduction Act would allow petty theft to be treated as a felony.

In turn, this would assist local businesses that have struggled with repeated smash and grabs that aren't able to press charges because of Proposition 47.

"Shoplifting and drug possession, that's the biggest thing that we've seen,” said Delano Police Department Chief Jerry Nicholson. “There are a lot of businesses here in town that are frustrated by the fact that law enforcement doesn't have the authority to remove these people from the street when they need to be removed from the street.”

Neighborhood News Reporter Ruby Rivera interviewing Delano Police Department Chief Jerry Nicholson

Chief Nicholson tells me Prop 47 has devastated the community of Delano for years, saying it's not just the public that's frustrated but so is law enforcement.

He told me it has led to criminals not caring that they're getting a citation because they know they won't be reprimanded and have the opportunity to re-offend if they want to.

But it's not just petty theft and drug possession that's a concern for law enforcement.

"Homelessness in the state of California risen — has risen to 51% while the rest of the country has reduced homelessness by 11%,” said Chief Nicholson.

Chief Nicholson says while he believes everyone deserves a second chance, the results of Proposition 47 have only been negative and the state needs a new course of action to protect all citizens.

And District Attorney Zimmer says to see this change happen — it must come from voters first.

"To amend a proposition like Prop 47 it has to go to the voters. The legislature cannot amend this the voters must amend the proposition,” said District Attorney Zimmer. “This is not a partisan issue this is a quality of life issue."

Supporters of the proposal are still collecting signatures... to put the Homelessness, Drug Addiction, and Theft Reduction Act on the November ballot.

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