2014 California Proposition 47 & 48

October 13th, 2014

Proposition 47  Reduction of certain crimes from Felonies to Misdemeanors

For the League of Women Voters Summary of Prop 47 (& all the propositions): http://cavotes.org/vote/pros-cons-pdf. This is a good summary.

Prop 47 is basically a way to deal with the draconian results of the 3 Strikes legislation from earlier years.

Misdemeanors usual result in fines, community supervision or incarceration for less than one year in a county or local jail.

Felonies, on the other hand result in a prison sentence of 1 year or more.  Incarceration is expensive both in labor and facility costs and in the inability to truly address recidivism.

By reclassifying non-violent and some non-“serious” crimes such as grand theft and possession of illegal drugs as misdemeanors, many will be kept out of expensive prisons. The re-classification can be applied to :

Future crimes

Crimes for which sentences are currently being served & could be released to lesser sentences.

Those who have served sentences but would like their record to show the less serious crime

Savings would be directed  to a newly created “Safe Neighborhoods & Schools Fund” fro truancy & dropout preventions programs, victims’ services and mental health and drug treatment.

Prop 47 has a wide spectrum of supporters shown at Ballotpedia including Bishop Jaime Soto of the California Catholic Conference of Bishops and Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento, Reed Hastings of Netflix, the League of Women Voters and teacher’s unions.

Those opposing Prop 47 are predominantly law enforcement and prison guards.

I believe that many of the lesser crimes have not been evenly prosecuted resulting in too many minority young men and women having their lives and families destroyed with prison sentences because of non-violent crimes.

Prop 47 recognizes proportionality of crimes. YES.

Prop 48 Indian Gaming Compacts

As in many states,  California Native American tribes have started casinos on reservations as an income source per a ballot measure in 2000.

Most reservations are located far from the population centers so some tribes acquired land closer to customers on a “by exception” basis. The state has negotiated services and profit sharing agreements with the North Fork and Wiyot tribes and the counties/communities (Madera County) in which the acquired lands are located. The agreements must be approved by Proposition.

There are no financial impacts to state funds. Pros & cons are covered in the LWV summary.

Conclusion. While not a proponent of gambling, and noting that gambling revenues are down around the country, I feel this is a free market enterprise that is neither increasing nor decreasing gambling in the state, just moving the customers around. I will vote YES without much enthusiasm.


One Response to “2014 California Proposition 47 & 48”

  1. V Florez on October 6, 2014 7:26 am

    I recommend anyone interested in learning the pros &

    cons of Prop 47 & 48 visit the League of Women Voters (Non-partisan) site. This site gives the reader the info you need to make your informed decision.

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