Californians and their Government

Russ Steele

The Public Policy Institute of California has another poll out on how California feel about their government. They asked what was most important to citizens of the state, starting with this question.

First,thinking about the state as a whole, what do you think is the most important issue facing people in California today?

67% jobs,economy

6 education, schools

6 state budget, deficit, taxes

4 immigration, illegal immigration

2 crime, gangs, drugs

2 government in general

2 health care, health costs

9 other

2 don’t know

I was suprized that global warming or climate change was not near the top of the list, given all the attention this gets in the main stream media. I guess it could be burried in the other category.

Here are some other things that the Sac Bee found interesting:

• Governor Brown gets relatively high marks, with 41 percent of Californians and 45 percent of likely voters approve of Brown’s efforts to balance the state budget.

• President Barack Obama’s once-soaring approval numbers in California — 70 percent when he first took office — have declined sharply to just 51 percent;

• Congress gets even lower marks from California voters, but Democratic U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein, who faces re-election next year, and Barbara Boxer, who won a new term last year, stand at 46 percent and 49 percent respectively.

• The state Legislature, like Congress, gets low approval ratings, and most of those surveyed support changing legislative term limits along the lines of a pending ballot measure — from six years in the Assembly and eight years in the Senate to 12 years that could be served in either house. But voters oppose returning the Legislature to a part-time body and are divided over whether to change the Legislature to a one-house body.

• While voters like California’s initiative system, they worry about special interests controlling it and would like to see some systemic reforms.

• Voters, who last year reduced the legislative vote for budgets from two-thirds to a simple majority, are closely divided on whether to also reduce the vote margin on taxes.

• Although California voters have twice approved ballot measures to bar same-sex marriages, they now favor legalization with 53 percent supportive and 42 percent opposed.

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About Russ Steele
Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

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