Skip to main content

Stockton lawmaker releases referendum targeting parts of Prop 47

Asm. Villapudua wants to see the referendum on a ballot as soon as possible.

Source: ABC 10

STOCKTON, Calif. — A state lawmaker from Stockton released a new referendum aimed at tackling retail theft.

"I've seen it done in my hometown of Stockton. Enough is enough. For us, it's all hands on deck. We need to do something. We should have done it yesterday, but we're on it today," said Democratic Assemblymember Carlos Villapudua (D-Stockton). 

The lawmaker said the video of a man going through shelves of tobacco products, tossing items into a trash can before being grabbed by a 7-Eleven employee and taken to the ground led him to say enough is enough.

"It went viral. A person coming in and stealing and getting hurt. We don't want that to happen," said Villapudua.

Villapudua is introducing a referendum aimed at addressing concerns related to Prop 47.

"This is not a Republican or Democratic issue. This is a statewide national issue that we are trying to solve, and I don't have all the answers. What we turned in today was basically a spot bill to get this ball rolling," said Villapudua.

A graphic he released said the referendum will revise the $950 property value threshold for misdemeanor, saying it has fueled a market of petty and repeat offenses with zero-to-low accountability. He said it will also support diversion programs for likely offenders.

"We're addressing the root of problems not just putting people away. We're addressing the root of problems," said Villapudua.

The National Retail Federation said companies lost $112 billion in 2022 due to organized retail crime. Sacramento ranked number seven for worst cities in America when it comes to the issue, and small businesses are feeling the hardest punch.

"As a person who had a business years back, I know what it takes to open those doors. I know how hard it is," said Villapudua.

Villapudua wants to see the referendum on a ballot as soon as possible. 

"Would love to have it this year. That's our goal, but we really need to make sure that all the stakeholders are at the table. We cannot just hit a bunt. We have to hit a homerun with this," he said.