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Field Poll: All 5 Budget Props Look Like Losers

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

The budget measures, Propositions 1A through 1E are losing. Prop. 1F, limiting state officials’ salaries when the state is in deficit, is headed for a big win. Here are the results from today’s Field Poll release.

Prop. 1A (Rainy Day Budget Stabilization Fund)

This proposition, which would establish a “rainy day” budget reserv and, limit state spending, is trailing by nine points – 49% No, 40% Yes and 11% undecided.

Prop. 1B (Education Funding)
Prop. 1B, the measure that would provide supplemental funding to local schools and community colleges, is also behind by nine points – 49% No vs. 40% Yes, with 11% undecided.

Prop. 1C (Lottery Modernization)
The measure receiving the least support is Prop. 1C. It calls for modernizing the state lottery and borrowing against its future proceeds. Likely voters are opposing it 59% to 32%.

Prop. 1D (Children’s Services Funding)
This measure would transfer early childhood development monies out of the California Children and Families Program to the state general fund. Voters divide 49% No, 40% Yes, with 11% undecided.

Prop. 1E (Mental Health Funding)
Prop. 1E would temporarily transfer funds currently allocated to mental health programs under the Mental Health Services Act to the state general fund. Currently 51% are voting No and 40% Yes.

Prop. 1F (Elected Officials Salaries)
This proposition, which would bar legislative and statewide constitutional officers from receiving pay raises when the state is running a budget deficit, is overwhelmingly supported, 71% Yes to 24% No.

One in three likely voters say they will vote no on all the budget measures — Propositions 1A-1E. Half the Republican are withholding support for each of the five measures.

Six in 10 voters, including majorities of both those intending to vote Yes or No, recognize that if Prop. 1A is approved it will extend for up to two years recent increases in the state’s sales tax, vehicle registration fee and income tax.

However, there is a widespread skepticism that if passed Prop. 1A would be successful in either limiting the size of future budget deficits or slowing the rate of future state pending growth. By 51-39% voters believe it is not likely that Prop. 1A would limit the size of future state budget deficits. And, by 61-32% voters are not convinced that passage of Prop 1A would slow the rate of growth of future state spending.

By a 47-41% likely voters are inclined to believe that the defeat of the budget-related measures would make the state’s budget problem even worse than it is now by increasing the size of the deficit by about $6 billion. Democrats are more likely to agree with this statement than Republicans and non-partisans.

But voters are much more inclined to agree that if the budget measures are defeated it would send a message to the governor and the legislature that voters are tired of more government spending and higher taxes. Statewide, 72% agree with this statement. Republicans hold to this view by a six to one margin, while non-partisans concur greater than three to one. Even 60% of Democrats agree.

The Field Poll surveyed 901 registered voters in California April 16-26, including 422 likely voters in the May 19 special election. The margin of error among likely voters is +/- 4.9 percentage points.