BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 2372
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   May 5, 2010

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                Felipe Fuentes, Chair

                   AB 2372 (Ammiano) - As Amended:  March 11, 2010 

          Policy Committee:                              Public Safety  
          Vote:        5-2

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          Yes    Reimbursable:              No

           SUMMARY  

          This bill increases the threshold amount for grand theft, from  
          $400 to $950.

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          Significant annual GF savings in the range of $40 million as a  
          result of fewer first-time felony state prison commitments.  
          Based on the 4,800 persons committed to state prison in 2007 and  
          2008 for grand theft, if this bill reduced this number by 33%,  
          based on an average time served of 12 months, annual savings  
          would be in the range of $37 million. 

          There would be a corresponding nonreimbursable increase in local  
          jail costs to the extent that offenses that would have been  
          charged as a felony - and punishable by state prison - are now  
          charged as misdemeanors - punishable by up to six months in  
          county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. These local costs  
          would be about half the potential state savings, offset to a  
          degree by increased fine revenue. The effect of this bill on  
          repeat offenders would be minimal as a person convicted of petty  
          theft, who has a prior petty theft conviction and served time  
          for that conviction, may be charged with a felony, punishable by  
          up to one year in county jail, or by 16 months, 2, or 3 years in  
          state prison. 


          Last year the budget conference committee proposed a similar  
          adjustment to the basic grand theft threshold. Ultimately,  
          however, this proposal was shelved, even though a series of  
          related property crime thresholds were adjusted for inflation.  








                                                                  AB 2372
                                                                  Page  2

          As a result, $34 million in budget savings was scored, though  
          because the basic grand theft statute was not increased, and  
          because the related property crimes can also be charged under  
          the grand theft statute, the savings did not materialize.      

           
           COMMENTS  

           1)Rationale  . The author notes that the grand theft threshold has  
            not been adjusted for inflation since it was set at $400 in  
            1982. 

            Grand theft was established as a crime in 1867 for crimes  
            involving more than $50. That figure was first adjusted in  
            1923 and increased to $200. If adjusted for inflation, 1923's  
            $200 threshold would be about $2,500 in 2010. The $400 level  
            established in 1982 would be about $950 today.  

           2)Current law  generally defines grand theft as any theft where  
            the money, labor, or personal property taken from another  
            exceeding $400. Grand theft is generally punishable by up to  
            six months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000, or 16  
            months, two, or thee years in state prison. Theft in other  
            cases is generally petty theft, petty theft is punishable by  
            up to six months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.  



           3)Prior Legislation  . AB 2705 (Goldberg), 2003, increased the  
            threshold for grand theft from $400 to $1,000. AB 2705 was  
            vetoed. 



            

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Geoff Long / APPR. / (916) 319-2081