Propositions 47 and 48 are very different: the first changes classifications in the penal code, while the second ratifies an agreement authorizing a new Native American casino. Both measures are balanced, and each one contributes to the State, so they deserve the support of all Californians.
Proposition 47 reduces the classification of a series of crimes considered “nonserious and nonviolent” to misdemeanors, unless the defendant has prior convictions for murder, rape, sex crimes, or having committed crimes with a firearm.
The measure also allows re-sentencing forthose serving sentences for the offenses reduced to misdemeanors, if the initiative is approved.At the same time, it establishes a fund of between $150 and $250 millionfor education, victim compensation, and primarily for the Board of State and Community Correction.
Proposition 47 corrects decades of hardline crime fighting that has overpopulated prisons with long sentences for inmates who did not commit violent crimes. This is especially helpful for Latinos and African-Americans, who have borne the brunt of these practices, while also contributing to the realignment undertaken by Governor Brown.
Proposition 48, for its part, asks voters to approve the agreement between the California governmentalready enacted by the legislaturewith the North Fork Rancheria ofMono Indians and the Wiyot Tribe. The first tribe will be allowed to build a casinooutside their reservationwith the approval of the federal governmentand will be required to share a percentage of revenues with the Wiyot Tribelocated in the north of the stateunder the condition that the Wiyot do not build a casino.
The initiative’s main opposition comes from other tribes that do not want competition for their casinos in Madera County. This agreement is a valid exception (that will create thousands of jobs) to the principle that casinos should operate on the reservation.
The bottom line for both initiatives is beneficial for Californians. For all these reasons, vote yes onPropositions47 and 48