ACLU Applauds City Council’s Vote to Invest All Prop 47 Savings in the Community

City calls for Prop 47 savings to go to community services and programs as voters intended

SAN DIEGO – The American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego and Imperial Counties applauds the action taken by the San Diego City Council today to increase funding for anti-recidivism programs funded through Proposition 47 savings in the 2016-2017 State Budget.

The governor’s budget proposal, released in January, estimated a  total savings of just $29.3 million. City Councilmembers Todd Gloria and Myrtle Cole proposed a resolution calling on the state to accurately account for Prop 47 savings in order to make $100 million more available for local programs addressing mental illness and substance abuse, truancy and dropout prevention, and victim services.

Passed by 60% of California voters in 2014, Proposition 47 reclassified six low-level offenses as misdemeanors, including drug possession and theft under $950. It mandated that the savings the state generates from no longer incarcerating these offenders are to be diverted to prevention programs, keeping youth in school, and services for crime victims.

According to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, the governor’s January estimate dramatically undercounts the first year of Prop 47 savings. The LAO estimates savings at more than $100 million higher, which is in line with expectations prior to Prop 47’s passage.

“The San Diego City Council’s action today is important because it puts pressure on Sacramento to accurately calculate Prop 47 savings,” said Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, ACLU of California director of Criminal Justice and Drug Policy. “Voters supported Proposition 47, not just to reduce unnecessary incarceration for low-level offenses, but to invest those savings into more efficient and cost-effective prevention and treatment programs. The San Diego City Council stood up for voters today. Now it’s up to the state to faithfully implement the will of the voters by returning all Prop 47 savings to California’s neighborhoods.”

# # #