We keep seeing it time and time again, flash mob robberies, businesses getting broken into or stolen from all throughout the state.

“Enough is enough…we have to make crime illegal again in California,” said Assemblyman James Gallagher, who represents District 3.

On May 31, 2023, a house vote of 29-8 from the California State Senate passed Senate Bill 553.

The bill was introduced by State Senator Dave Cortese, in the wake of workplace shootings that have taken place recently in the workplace, in the Bay Area.

In a statement provided by Cortese says, “Under my SB 553, employers would be prohibited from forcing their rank and file, non-security workers to confront active shoplifters, and all retail employees would be trained on how to react to active shoplifting. The legislation has other provisions that keep people safe at work. Let’s take every reasonable step to prevent another workplace assault or shooting.”

However, according to a rally held at the state capitol on Thursday, many small business owners, lawmakers, and law enforcement personnel say the bill will encourage shoplifting and increase crime.

The bill, “requires employers to develop their own workplace violence prevention plans as part of their Cal/OSHA Injury Illness Prevention Plan.”

It would establish new workplace standards, that would prohibit store employees from fighting back against thieves.

“SB 533 allow all shoplifter to come to the store and grab whatever they need,” said Paramjit Khaira, owner of Sac Valley Truck Stop.

“Enough is enough”: CA business owners and lawmakers held a rally against dangerous policies at the capitol. (Photo: Assembly member Jim Patterson)

They stood in solidarity with poster signs calling onto the Assembly Appropriations Committee in regards to the bill, among other things.

“Enough is enough”: CA business owners and lawmakers held a rally against dangerous policies at the capitol. (Photo: Assemblymember Jim Patterson)

Every business owner here has worked hard to pursue the American Dream. We create jobs, pay taxes, and serve our communities,” said Jaskaran Sahota of JKSD Gas and Mini Marts. “But at every turn, California seems to make things harder. Our leaders should be supporting us, not the criminals who make it harder to stay in business.

“California is becoming increasingly lawless as a result of poor public policy decisions that essentially decriminalized property crime and hard-core drug use,” said El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson. “It’s time for Sacramento to start holding criminals accountable for the harm they inflict on innocent Californians.”

Just two weeks ago, Senator Cortese did not receive a warm welcoming outside the capitol when addressing the reasoning behind the bill.

Many small business owners spoke up to address how the bill is actually cuffing them, the victims.

Meanwhile, they say they are having to take another financial hit on top of the theft losses, if they have to hire a security guard.

They say they just can’t afford it.

One business owner was spotted telling the Senator Cortese the bill was made for big chain retail companies and it unfairly targets small business owners.

You can still contact the legislators on the Appropriations Committee to share your opinion.