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PPIC Statewide Survey: Special Survey on the California State Budget
Mark Baldassare

May 2005

Some findings of the current survey

  • A vast majority of Californians (71%) view the state’s multibillion dollar fiscal gap between revenues and spending as a big problem.
  • Only 7% of the state’s residents think the governor and legislature have made a lot of progress in solving the state’s budget problems.
  • Most Californians (72%) express concern about the effects of budget cuts in the governor’s fiscal plans.
  • 72 percent of Californians believe voters should make decisions about the budget and governmental reforms rather than abdicate that responsibility to the governor and legislature.
  • Californians continue to express profound distrust of their state government: Only 29 % say they trust the government to do what is right just about always or most of the time. Most Californians say that state government is run by a few big interests—a view held by majorities of Democrats (72), Republicans (67%), and independents (64%).
  • More residents say the state is headed in the wrong direction than the right direction (57% to 35%) and say they expect bad economic times rather than good times in the next 12 months (49% to 39%).

This survey is the fifth in a series of special PPIC Statewide Surveys on the California State Budget and Fiscal System, begun in June 2003 and conducted in collaboration with The James Irvine Foundation. The intent of this series is to raise public awareness, inform decisionmakers, and stimulate public discussion about the current state budget and the underlying state and local finance system.