Capitol Alert

Water still top enviro issue; Motor voter registers 250,000 more

Secretary of State Alex Padilla explains ‘motor voter’ bill

Formerly known as Assembly Bill 1461, the legislation automatically registers adult citizens to vote at the DMV when they get or renew a driver's license -- unless they opt out.
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Formerly known as Assembly Bill 1461, the legislation automatically registers adult citizens to vote at the DMV when they get or renew a driver's license -- unless they opt out.


The Public Policy Institute of California released a poll Wednesday, examining the public’s attitudes on a range of environmental issues.

Findings show water remains the top environmental issue for likely California voters. The poll also reveals a strong partisan divide on the issue of global warming. Here’s what you need to know:


  • 24 percent of respondents view water as the most important environmental issue. Air pollution and climate change follow behind at 15 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

  • Proposition 3 has strong bipartisan support. Fifty-eight percent of likely voters support the $8.9 billion bond measure, which would pay for various water infrastructure projects. More Republicans support the measure than oppose it. Nearly three-fourths of Democrats support it as well.


  • California likely voters are deeply split along party lines. Asked how serious of a threat global warming is to the economy and quality of life for California’s future, half of Republican respondents said it is either not too serious or not at all serious, compared to just 3 percent of Democrats. Despite the strong party differences, 47 percent of Republicans considered the issue very serious or somewhat serious.
  • Mark Baldassare, president and CEO of PPIC, said Californians are far more concerned about the impact of climate change than the country as a whole. In a recent ABC News poll, 48 percent of respondents said the issue was important to them. PPIC’s latest poll finds global warming is important to 60 percent of California likely voters. Baldassare says, “There are a sizable number of Republicans who are not going along with what the Trump administration and Republican leadership in Washington is saying at this time.”


  • An initiative calling for voters to repeal California’s gas tax is gaining much attention heading into November. While the poll didn’t ask about Proposition 6 specifically, it did provide findings suggesting voters are willing to pay more for gas to protect the environment. “People have factored in higher gasoline prices to the state’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and you have high levels of support,” Baldassare said.
  • Fifty-eight percent of respondents think that California doing things to reduce global warming in the future would cause gas prices to increase. A narrow majority of respondents is willing to pay more more for electricity if it were generated by renewable sources. Three in five people support setting higher emissions standards for automobiles. Though these findings are not directly related to the gas tax, they do suggest people would be willing to pay more money to promote environmental sustainability.

The survey of 1,020 California adult likely voters was conducted from July 8-17 with a margin of error of 4.3 percentage points.


California’s new Motor Voter program is driving up registrations. From April to June, the Department of Motor Vehicles has registered nearly 260,000 new voters. In a statement, Secretary of State Alex Padilla called the numbers a “game changer” that will make it “easier than ever” to participate in the electoral process.


Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, is participating in a town hall with County Supervisor Phil Serna, from 6-7:30 p.m. today at Natomas High School.


U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (RepBarbaraLee) — “ICE has secretly changed polices to detain more pregnant women, brutally shackling them and denying them adequate medical access. In @AppropsDems today, I introduced an amendment to end to this barbaric practice but Republicans voted it down. This is a disgrace.”


Keep fighting or fold to Trump? California Influencers speak out on sanctuary state posture.

“Father Theodore Hesburgh, former president of the University of Notre Dame said, ‘Close the back door of illegal immigration so as to keep open the golden door of legal immigration.’ The left has confused the very different issues of legal and illegal immigration, causing some to oppose needed legal immigration as well as making some oblivious to the problems of illegal immigration. Sanctuary laws contribute little substantively, but instead exacerbate further confusion on this key issue. The state should cease appearing to being unable to distinguish between those coming through the ‘golden door’ and the ‘back door.’”

Sal Russo, co-founder of Tea Party Express

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