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Lawmakers Shelve Bill To Change Voter-Approved Crime Measure

  

(AP) - California lawmakers are shelving a bill intended to change a voter-approved initiative that reduced criminal penalties for some non-violent offenders.

Democratic Assemblyman Jim Cooper of Elk Grove said Wednesday that he will try again next year to fix what he calls an unintended consequence of Proposition 47.

Voters in November approved the ballot measure making certain drug and property crimes misdemeanors instead of felonies.

Cooper's AB390 would allow authorities to continue collecting DNA samples from criminals convicted of crimes that were previously felonies but are now reclassified as misdemeanors.

It passed the Assembly but failed Tuesday in the Senate Public Safety Committee.

Cooper calls DNA evidence an essential tool for convicting criminals and exonerating the innocent.

He says nearly 80 percent of DNA matches involve crimes that now are misdemeanors.