WeHo’s Zbur trying to salvage controversial Prop 47

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Efforts to revise a notorious soft-on-crime law have advanced in the California Legislature with the help of West Hollywood Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur, setting up a showdown with citizens’ push to fully repeal Proposition 47. 

Proposition 47, passed by California voters in November 2014 and titled the “Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act,” reclassified certain nonviolent offenses as misdemeanors rather than felonies to reduce state prison overcrowding. The offenses affected include shoplifting, grand theft, receiving stolen property, forgery, fraud (all under $950 value) and personal use of most illegal drugs.

The intent was to allocate savings towards drug and mental health treatment, education, and victim services, aiming to enhance public safety by prioritizing resources for more serious crimes and reducing recidivism. However, Prop 47 has been contentious, with critics citing increases in property crimes and arguing that it allows individuals committing low-level offenses to repeatedly avoid severe penalties, potentially impacting community safety.

Senate Bill 1381, championed by Democrat state Senators Aisha Wahab of Hayward and Angelique Ashby of Sacramento, seeks to modify the decade-old law through a more nuanced approach than a competing citizen-initiated measure aiming for a full repeal of Proposition 47, which also gained ballot certification recently. The legislative proposal, requiring only a simple majority in both chambers to secure a spot on the November ballot, reflects a strategic legislative response to concerns about retail theft and the fentanyl crisis.

Zbur, the bill’s co-author and chair of the Assembly’s Select Committee on Retail Theft, was key to the bill’s advocacy in the Assembly. He emphasized that the measure aims to hold offenders accountable while avoiding the reimplementation of excessively harsh penalties for minor thefts. This stance aligns with efforts to avoid reverting to policies that contributed to mass incarceration and the ineffective war on drugs.

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The debate surrounding SB 1381 has polarized stakeholders, with state retailer and grocer associations supporting the bill, while groups representing sheriffs, district attorneys, and defense attorneys have expressed opposition. Critics like Cory Salzillo from the California State Sheriffs’ Association argue that the bill’s three-year limitation on aggregating thefts could undermine prosecutorial efforts against serial offenders. Additionally, the requirement for prosecutors to prove that a dealer knowingly sold fentanyl adds a layer of complexity to fentanyl-related prosecutions.

Assemblymember Tom Lackey, a Republican from Palmdale, criticized the bill as misleading and accused Democrats of creating legislative confusion to obscure the effects of Proposition 47. He pointed to the increased security measures like locking up common goods in stores as evidence of the law’s negative impact on retail safety.

Despite such criticisms, proponents like Ashby maintain that their initiative offers a reasoned alternative to the full repeal, focusing on recalibrating rather than revoking the adjustments made by Proposition 47. This legislative approach aims to balance public safety concerns with the imperative to prevent overly punitive responses to minor criminal offenses.

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KoWeho
KoWeho
10 days ago

Newsom pulled this referendum from the ballot today. The repeal of AB 47 will still be on the ballot. Vote for it.

Robert Steloff
9 days ago
Reply to  KoWeho

Agree 💯 without question – If reforming the bill doesn’t take hold, there are unfortunately NO OTHER answers.

john
john
10 days ago

Why is it called, “The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools act.” They want and did fool the public. So dishonest…they know the public won’t support their radical proposals so they try to deceive people.

Jason
Jason
10 days ago

Would rather vote for a Republican than this fool!

BloodshotEyedGuy
BloodshotEyedGuy
10 days ago
Reply to  Jason

A fool calling another a fool is foolish.

voter
voter
10 days ago

Deluded morons like Zbur will ensure the next Trump presidency.

BloodshotEyedGuy
BloodshotEyedGuy
10 days ago
Reply to  voter

Let’s hope so, Mary. USA, USA, USA!

Robert Steloff
9 days ago
Reply to  voter

Unfortunately, the repercussions of soft on crime measures will do exactly that…

JF1
JF1
10 days ago

Repeal prop 47! The people that advocated for prop 47 were able to pull one over on the public the first time around… It won’t happen again!

Robert Steloff
9 days ago
Reply to  JF1

You are correct, if only people paused to read & comprehend the first-time around instead of voting their ideology, we could avoid these disasters from both sides.

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
10 days ago

NOPE!

You do the crime, you do the time! If you are one of an “over-represented” demographic in our penal system, well, … maybe more of you are doing the crime than those in other demographics, so own up to that.

I don’t know why this is so hard to understand!

Jim Nasium
Jim Nasium
10 days ago

Zbur is soft on crime. Thanks for the info WehoOnline!

JF1
JF1
10 days ago
Reply to  Jim Nasium

Yes, thank you! It’s important to get the word out.

Robert Steloff
9 days ago
Reply to  JF1

👌🏻👍🏻

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
10 days ago
Reply to  Jim Nasium

Well, he has endorsed John Erickson for re-election. That should have
been the first clue.

Robert Steloff
9 days ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

👌🏻👍🏻

Robert Steloff
9 days ago
Reply to  Jim Nasium

👌🏻👍🏻

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