Playing Politics with Public Safety

Since Prop. 47 passed in 2014, we've seen a concerning rise in retail theft, drug-related crimes, and homelessness in California. Living in California you are 36% more likely to be a victim of violent crime compared to the rest of the country, the State’s burglary rate is a whopping 45% higher than the rest of the nation, and every month 540 people die from fentanyl poisoning.

These issues have deeply affected our communities and demand urgent attention and action. However, despite widespread acknowledgment of the problem, there has been a lack of meaningful legislative action for far too long.

Recently, the majority party has shown willingness to work on bipartisan solutions to address these problems. It is not lost on legislative Republicans that the timing is suspect with an election coming up this fall. But together, we introduced a public safety bill package aimed at increasing penalties and protecting Californians. We have since learned of their intention to derail the efforts we are all working so hard for.

Poison pills are being added to these bills in an attempt to hijack the legislative process and undermine the will of the voters. They come in the form of amendments, added only after the policy discussions have been had in committee, which stipulate that the bills will ONLY take effect if the Prop. 47 reform that is on the ballot this November fails.

This manipulates voters into a false choice between the legislature’s “tough on crime” bills and a citizen-led initiative that makes real progress in combatting crime by reforming parts of Prop 47.

It is unacceptable to play political games with public safety.

The majority party is interfering with the ballot initiative process. The voices of our citizens must be heard and respected, not manipulated for political gain.

Moreover, the piecemeal approach to amending Prop. 47 is shaky at best, and adding these amendments makes the bills completely unusable. Propositions can only be repealed or amended through new propositions voted on by the people, meaning that many of the bills currently being introduced are at risk of being nullified come January.

While I believe in the importance of bipartisan cooperation to find solutions that protect our businesses and residents, this is not the way forward. We cannot sacrifice the integrity of our democratic process this way.

I am committed to fighting for genuine solutions that prioritize the safety and well-being of all Californians and give law enforcement the tools they need to do their jobs safely.

You can click here to watch my Public Safety Committee  comments about this issue.

Thank you.