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Blog Post · February 13, 2019

Video: Californians and Their Government

As efforts are gearing up in Sacramento to craft a new state budget, a majority of Californians say they approve of Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed spending plan. Californians also express optimism about the general direction of the state. These and other key findings of the latest PPIC Statewide Survey were outlined by Alyssa Dykman at a Sacramento briefing last week.

The governor’s budget proposal, which calls for increased funds for education and health and human services, garners support from 70% of California adults. More than three-quarters approve of two key components of the proposal: 77% favor allocating $1.8 billion to expand pre-kindergarten and early childhood programs and facilities, and 78% support an $832 million funding increase for public colleges and universities.

The survey also asked whether Californians believe the state is going in the right direction. A majority of adults (55%) approve of where California is headed. This contrasts with less than a third (30%) saying things are going in the right direction for the country. In addition, a record-low 25% of Californians say that President Trump and Congress will be able to work together and accomplish a lot this year.

Other survey highlights:

  • Asked what the most important issue is for the governor and legislature to address in the coming year, more Californians name immigration and illegal immigration (15% adults) than any other issue.
  • Most Californians (67%) are optimistic that Governor Newsom and the legislature will be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next year.
  • A strong majority of California adults (64%) say President Trump and Republicans in Congress were primarily responsible for the recent partial shutdown of the federal government. Only 24% say Democrats in Congress were responsible.
  • Only about a quarter of Californians (27%) say the situation with illegal immigration across the US-Mexico border is a crisis.


Donald Trump Gavin Newsom Higher Education K–12 Education Political Landscape Population state budget Statewide Survey US Congress