Poll: California Voters Object to Automatic Cuts in Budget Plan
A new Field Poll finds that two-thirds of California voters oppose a plan that would automatically trigger up to $2.5 billion in midyear cuts to health and human services and otherÂ programs if tax revenue expectations fall short, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
Even so, 49% of respondents expressed approval for Gov. Jerry Brown (D), whose office would oversee the triggered cuts (Miller, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 9/19).
The poll surveyed 1,001 registered voters in California between Sept. 1 and Sept. 12 and has a margin of error of 3.2 percentage points (AP/Ventura County Star, 9/20).
In June, state lawmakers passed an $86 billion budget plan that depended on strong revenue projections. The state anticipated it would take in $4 billion more in tax revenue than was expected in Brown's earlier version of a budget plan.
The state controller's office recently reported that general fund revenues already are short of estimates this fiscal year. In December, more spending cuts could be triggered if tax revenues fall short of assumptions.
Triggered cuts could include:
- $100 million from services for individuals with developmental disabilities; and
- $100 million from the In-Home Supportive Services program for the elderly and people who are blind or have disabilities (California Healthline, 9/14).
Last week, Brown vetoed a bill (SBX1 6) that would have required the administration to notify the Legislature before making the cuts and to consult with lawmakers about alternatives.
Brown and other state leaders have said the automatic cuts are a critical part of the state budget and have helped boost credit ratings.
Tom Dresslar, a spokesperson for state Treasurer Bill Lockyer (D), said that even though the spending cuts are not popular, increasing taxes is not a viable political alternative.
Other Poll Findings
According to the poll, 24% of respondents said they think the trigger cuts are a good idea.
The poll also found that:
- 65% disapproved of the Legislature's performance in office; and
- 32% disapproved of Brown's performance in office (Buchanan, San Francisco Chronicle, 9/20).
Brown's approval rating has remained virtually unchanged since March and June (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 9/19).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.