California's Prop 47 reform penalizing criminals to be on November ballot

California voters will once again decide on the fate of Proposition 47

On Tuesday, the Secretary of State's Office said the initiative became eligible for the November 5 General Election after receiving enough valid petition signatures.

Prop 47, which voters passed in 2014, loosened the penalties for drug and theft crimes in California and has been blamed for the state's rampant theft problems.

Californians for Safer Communities, a bipartisan group made up of law enforcement, elected officials and businesses, began collecting signatures in support of the proposed amendment to reform Prop 47 in order to increase penalties for criminals.

The group collected a total of 910,441 signatures. 


In order to become eligible for the ballot, the initiative needed 546,651 valid petition signatures, and through random sampling, 652,100 were considered valid, exceeding the required threshold.

Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber will certify the initiative as qualified on June 27. 

Prop 47 made several crimes, including shoplifting, grand theft and receiving stolen property, a misdemeanor instead of a felony if the value of the property did not exceed $950. It also lowered the penalty for the personal use of most illegal drugs below a certain weight.

Many law enforcement officials have blamed the measure for the uptick in theft and smash-and-grabs that have plagued California in the years since the COVID-19 pandemic. 

California Democrats, including Gov. Gavin Newsom, do not support the effort and are pushing some public safety bills circulating throughout the state capital that attempt to address organized retail theft, car break-ins and other crimes. The Democrats prefer those bills go before voters instead of the Prop 47 reform measure.

FOX News contributed to this report