Poll: Public Support Waning for Brown’s Tax Extension Proposal
The number of voters who support Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) plan to place a tax extension measure on a June ballot has decreased since January, according to a poll Â by the Public Policy Institute of California, the Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert" reports.
The institute polled 2,000 California adults, including 935 likely voters, earlier this month (Massimino, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 3/23).
Last week, lawmakers agreed to make about $14 billion in cuts to health services and other programs as part of Brown's plan to close the state's $26.6 billion deficit over 18 months.
In addition to the spending cuts, Brown is pushing for a June special election that would allow voters to decide whether to temporarily extend certain income, sales and vehicle taxes.
However,Â negotiations with GOP lawmakersÂ recently stalled, leading Brown to consider using a signature drive to place his proposed tax measure before voters in November instead of in JuneÂ (California Healthline, 3/23).
The new PPIC poll found that half of likely voters believe a June special election is a good idea, down from two-thirds of likely voters who responded the same way in the institute's January poll.
The latest poll also found that 46% of likely voters favor Brown's proposed tax extension ballot measure, a drop of eight percentage points since January ("Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 3/23). Ballot measures generally fail if they have support from less than 50% of likely voters before a campaign starts, according to the Los Angeles TimesÂ (York, Los Angeles Times, 3/24).
The new poll also asked voters about public employee pensions and found that:
- 56% of likely voters said the amount that state and local governments spend on public worker pensions is a big problem; and
- 57% of likely voters said the state should reduce public workers' pensions to help balance the budget.
Brown Administration Responds
Gil Duran, a spokesperson for Brown, said, "It's clear that a majority of Californians want the chance to vote on tax extensions in June."
He added, "Governor Brown is working nonstop to make sure the people's right to vote is respected, and he is doing his best to convince Republicans in Sacramento that voters deserve a chance to be heard" (Richman, Oakland Tribune, 3/23).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.