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Does New Poll Change State Budget Dynamic?



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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, April 25, 2011

According to the Los Angeles Times/USC Dornsife survey, most voters want to vote on Governor Jerry Brown's proposal to extend a series of tax increases:

"It seems that California voters are well ahead of their elected representatives in the willingness to make difficult compromises in order to fix the budget crisis."

USC's Dan Schnur says large majorities also support capping state employee pensions and a state spending limit - ideas pushed by Republicans who tried to make a deal with Brown:

"It appears that if Governor Brown wanted to work with Republicans on pensions and on a spending cap to get those last four votes, it looks like he'd have pretty significant public support for doing so."

Senator Anthony Cannella is one of the few Republicans who negotiated with Brown.  He says the message from his constituents echoes the poll - a solution should be all-inclusive:

"They think that now is the time to deal with the issues - structural reform of the budget, dealing with the pension problem, dealing with the out-of-control spending in Sacramento.  So they were very clear to me that they want to see a comprehensive solution to the problem."

Republicans have criticized Democrats for not going far enough on their demands for pension changes, but Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg says Democrats remain open minded:

"We've not shied away from the notion of negotiating pension reform and a spending cap and we're still right there willing to do that as part of a package that provides the money for education, higher education and public safety."

Governor Brown will release a revised budget next month. That's likely to reframe the debate yet again

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