The CRA team engaged the Governor’s office directly on this issue and, not only did we secure funding to keep the task force operational, but we were also able to secure additional money for the Department of Justice specially for ORC. In addition, our sponsored bill, AB 331, which continues the ORC statue, passed both houses with NO OPPOSITION and was signed into law this morning by the Governor.
CRA also applauds the State Legislature for including $5.5 million dollars in the State budget to fund the Taskforce. We thank the Newsom Administration for their partnership in ensuring this important funding was included in the budget that prioritizes the protection of retail employees and customers from this growing criminal activity.
ORC is a growing problem, not only for businesses, but our communities as California leads the nation in reports of serial theft. ORC fosters a host of illegal activity, including the recruitment of vulnerable Californians such as youth, homeless and others into sophisticated theft crime networks that frequently use their proceeds to finance other illegal activity including drug smuggling and human trafficking.
The Task Force was set to expire on July 1 and did not have funding in place. Thanks to the collaboration of the California Retailer Association and its partners and support of Governor Newsom and state legislators, the valuable work of the Task Force will continue, which has resulted in breaking up sophisticated crime rings leading to the recovery of millions of dollars in stolen goods.
The work on this critical issue is far from complete as CRA works to continue funding well beyond 2026 and explore ways to build upon these gains.”