Capitol Alert

Californians split over Jerry Brown’s proposed budget, want more action on guns

Gov. Jerry Brown, right, speaks next to former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry at an event Tuesday at Stanford University.
Gov. Jerry Brown, right, speaks next to former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry at an event Tuesday at Stanford University. AP

Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed spending plan is splitting state residents, but a record-low number of Californians believe the state budget situation is a big problem, according to a new poll.

The survey, by the Public Policy Institute of California, found 48 percent of adult residents support the governor’s budget plan while 46 percent are opposed.

“Californians are divided on whether to use surplus revenues to restore funding for social programs or build up the reserve, and most residents would rather fund road improvements through surplus funds and state bonds than vehicle fees and gasoline taxes,” PPIC President Mark Baldassare said in a statement.

However, with the economic picture brightening, just 42 percent say the budget situation represents a major predicament.

The poll also measured several other issues, including some that could make land on November’s statewide ballot. Here’s a quick rundown of the numbers:

▪  57 percent of adults say stricter gun laws are very important to them, while 62 percent say the government doesn’t do enough to regulate gun access.

▪  53 percent say boosting cigarette taxes to pay for health care is very important to them.

▪  33 percent believe requiring voter approval for revenue bonds is very important, and 42 percent have similarly strong beliefs about changing public-employee pensions. A pension overhaul proposal was recently pulled from ballot consideration by backers because of fundraising concerns.

▪  43 percent, a record-high number, say terrorism and security are a big problem, just a month after the terror attacks in San Bernardino.

▪  57 percent say they are very concerned or somewhat concerned about the threat of a mass shooting in their area.

▪  61 percent say the U.S. government is doing very well or fairly well in reducing the threat of terrorism.

▪  82 percent say unauthorized immigrants should be able to stay in the U.S. legally if certain requirements are met.

▪  68 percent, a record-high number, say immigrants are a benefit to the state because of their hard work and job skills.

▪  Half say violence and street crime in their communities is a big problem or somewhat of one.

Christopher Cadelago: 916-326-5538, @ccadelago

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