California Senate Democrats Reject Crucial Retail Theft Prevention Effort

Proposed Measure Would Have Reformed Prop. 47

On the Senate floor today, Senate Democrats rejected an effort led by Sen. Janet Nguyen (R-Huntingon Beach) to combat rampant retail theft in California by reforming Proposition 47 (2014). The proposed measure, aimed at enhancing public safety and addressing the growing problem of serial retail theft, was even denied a full debate.

"Our state is facing a rising tide of retail theft, and it is imperative that we take decisive action to protect our communities,” said Senator Janet Nguyen. “It is disheartening that our colleagues across the aisle did not see fit to engage in a full debate on this critical issue."

The proposed amendments, if they’d been passed, would have elevated the charge for serial thieves with three or more prior theft-related convictions, turning a fourth conviction into a felony offense. This reform of Prop 47 would significantly strengthen penalties for repeat offenders.

If the amendments were passed, this change in law would be put on the November 2024 ballot for voters’ approval. 

Click here for the full language of the amendment, here for the video of the presentation, and here for the roll-call vote.

Just recently, Senate Minority Leader Brian W. Jones (R-San Diego) authored an Op-ed about CRIMEafornia where criminals are emboldened and a sense of lawlessness prevails, specifically pointing to brazen thieves in the numerous Los Angeles flash-mob robberies. He also highlights “the cultural shift [that] can traced back to recent progressive reforms such as the ‘defund the police’ movement and measures to decriminalize numerous crimes and allow for early release from prison,” including Los Angeles’s zero-bail policy, Prop. 47 (2014), and Prop. 57 (2016).  You can read Leader Jones’s Op-ed here as published in the Times of San Diego.