SACRAMENTO — Elk Grove Assemblyman Jim Cooper hopes voters can do for him what other assembly members would not.
“I hate ballot measures, it needs to be done is the legislative process, really talk about it and dive in deep,” Cooper told FOX40.
Monday at the State Capitol cooper and others pushed a proposed ballot measure that would partly change crime in California.
Cooper tried to pass a similar bill earlier this year but without success. Under the proposed measure, certain crimes would be reclassified as “violent crime” like child sex trafficking and felony domestic abuse.
If a crime is considered a “violent crime,” prisoners would not be eligible for early release.
Another stipulation of the measure would be allowing DNA samples taken from those convicted of certain types of misdemeanors.
Along with Cooper at the press conference was Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert.
“There’s a direct correlation between collecting DNA from drug offenders and thieves and solving rapes and murders,” Schubert said.
Cooper’s proposal is in part a response to Proposition 47 passed by California voters in 2014. Prop 47 reduced some drug possession and theft crimes to misdemeanors, meaning DNA samples could not be taken.
But not everyone at the press conference was convinced.
Thomas Hoffman, from Californians for Safety and Justice, says he believes criminal reform is needed in California but also feels that Cooper’s vision may leave more people unnecessarily locked up and fly in the face of what voters decided in 2014.
“It’s a discussion that says we need to thoughtfully manage the beds that we have and make darn sure that the people that are in them are violent and dangerous,” Hoffman says.
Cooper still needs to obtain enough signatures to put his measure on the november 2018 ballot.