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  /  News   /  As CA crime surges, Newsom seeks to keep Prop 47 off ballot

As CA crime surges, Newsom seeks to keep Prop 47 off ballot

(NewsNation) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom continues to push to keep a decade-old initiative that lessened penalties for certain crimes off the November ballot in place of other safety measures as burglaries and other offenses continue to rise across the state.

Proposition 47, which took effect in 2014, has been blamed for easing up on people who commit crimes, including theft. Newsom, a Democrat, has been sounding tougher on crimes recently at a time when Californians have complained about the uptick in crime in their communities.

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According to the Los Angeles Police Department, homicides have increased by 10.6% year-to-date as of June 4. Robberies have also jumped by 17.6% over 2023, and more specifically, robberies that have taken place at Los Angeles businesses, restaurants, liquor stores and clothing stores account for 894 robberies this year, which is up 43.6% from 2023.

Los Angeles isn’t the only California city experiencing a jump in crime, according to police. Homicides are up 83% in Long Beach and 133% in Fresno compared to 2023. Meanwhile, car thefts are up 52% in Long Beach, while shoplifting is up 79% in San Bernadino, according to law enforcement statistics.

Newsom is aware that California has become synonymous with videos of smash-and-grab crimes going viral across the U.S., which has prompted a crackdown on crime in recent months.

In addition to loosening guidelines on certain thefts and burglaries, Prop 47 also lowered simple drug possession to a misdemeanor in California when it took effect in 2014. Critics insist that the initiative that was approved by voters has only fueled criminals and enticed them to commit more crimes.

While aware of the surge in crime, Newsom is continuing to try to keep reforms to Prop 47 off the ballot this fall. A bipartisan effort has been ongoing in Sacramento to give the ballot initiative more teeth and increase penalties for criminals, including repeat offenders.

Those efforts come at a time when Newsom is pushing his own safety bills to crack down on crime, which he would prefer go in front of the state’s voters rather than reforms to the existing law. Newsom told reporters he doesn’t see the need to have something on the ballot if it isn’t achieving what it set out to accomplish.

For the time being, Newsom says he is working to get something in front of voters that addresses the state’s crime rate.

“There’s a lot of moving parts, a lot of negotiations concurrently happening,” Newsom told reporters this month. “Prop 47 is included.”