Poll: California Voters Support Special Election, Split on Taxes
Most California voters support Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) plan to hold a special election on tax measures, but they are split over whether they would approve the taxes, according to a new poll by the Public Policy Institute of California, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The poll is based on a May phone survey of more than 2,000 California adults (Buchanan, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/2).
Earlier this year, state lawmakers approved $11 billion in spending cuts, many of which targeted health and human service programs.
On May 16, Brown released his revised budget plan, which seeks to use $6.6 billion in higher-than-expected revenue to help close California's remaining deficit. The May revise would:
- Extend a fee on hospitals to bring in $320 million for Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program;
- Shift beneficiaries of Healthy Families -- California's Children's Health Insurance Program -- to Medi-Cal; and
- Shut down several state boards, including the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board, which runs Healthy Families and other programs.
In addition to seeking spending cuts, Brown is promoting a plan to extend sales and vehicle taxes for five years. The governor also aims to reinstate a 0.25% income-tax surcharge over four years, beginning in 2012 (California Healthline, 5/20).
The poll found that 62% of likely voters said they would like a special election on tax measures, a 6% increase from April and an 11% increase from March.
However, 48% of likely voters said they opposed the taxes, while 46% said they supported them (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/2).
According to the poll, 51% of likely voters said they would support tax increases to maintain current funding levels for health and human services (Herdt, Ventura County Star, 6/1).
Following the release of the poll, Brown said he would not renege on a campaign promise to seek voter approval for any tax increases (Goldmacher, "PolitiCal," Los Angeles Times, 6/1).
The governor said that he and state legislators are close to reaching an agreement on a budget plan that would include a special election on taxes. Brown also expressed optimism that lawmakers could meet the state's constitutional deadline to pass a budget by June 15 (Harmon, Contra Costa Times, 6/1).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.