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CA's Prop 47 Faces Rollback Vote Amid Disputes Over Its Impact

A California group that blames the state's 2014 Proposition 47 for a slew of problems said Thursday they have collected enough signatures to qualify a November ballot measure that would toughen penalties for serial thieves and require treatment for addicts, reports the Mercury News. Backers including owners of small businesses, social justice leaders and drug victim families gathered in San Francisco and Los Angeles to announce they have collected about 900,000 voter signatures, significantly more than the 546,651 required by April 23, and are turning them in to the Attorney General’s Office.

Backers of the rollback said Prop 47 "led to unintended consequences" such as repeat retail theft and difficulty getting people to seek help for drug addiction and mental health problems, and claimed "modest amendments" to Prop 47 would fix the issue. Prop 47 was among a series of laws and initiatives over the last 15 years aimed at addressing social justice concerns and reducing California's prison population. However, supporters of the proposed November initiative say there’s no way to fix the state’s theft and drug problems without walking back parts of Prop 47, stressing that the proposed initiative would amend but not repeal Prop 47. Although there's currently a legislative bill package that is aiming to solve similar problems without touching Prop 47, law enforcement officials said that the package mostly addresses organized retail thefts, and not individuals stealing with impunity under Prop 47.


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