09/20/2011 by Gina Baleria

Latest Field Poll another reason to support ‘Smart Government’

California voters remain fed up with their legislature, as seen in the latest Field Poll, which finds that people have little confidence in the body charged with passing laws and budgeting taxpayer dollars.

Only 20% of Californians approve of the state Senate and Assembly, while 65% disapprove. This held true across party lines.

By contrast, Governor Jerry Brown’s approval rating remains solid and steady. 49% of Californians approve of his work so far, while 32% disapprove.

“Previous governors ranked higher during their first years in office,” reported Jim Miller of the Riverside Press Enterprise. “But, Brown's rating has held steady amid deep voter discontent about high unemployment and a struggling economy that has pushed down the job-approval ratings of other statewide officials.”

When it comes to the most recent budget passed in June, opinions are spread evenly, with about one-third approving, one-third disapproving, and one-third saying the cuts were about right.

“However, by a greater than two to one margin (66% to 24%), voters disapprove of the provision in the state budget agreement that calls for automatic spending cuts to be made in many of the state's major program areas, including the K-12 schools, higher education and health care, if tax revenues do not meet original assumptions,” said Mark DiCamillo and Mervin Field of the Field Poll.

California Forward is working on reforms that will help moderate and stabilize California’s governance process, ensure money is spent wisely, and make lawmakers open and responsible to their constituents.

Two bills await the governor’s signature. SB 14 would require budgeting based on the performance of programs, and SB 15 would require multi-year fiscal forecasting, to better plan for the state’s financial future.

California Forward also hopes to move government closer to the people by giving local governments more control over their resources and ensuring that governments remain open, accountable and focused on results.

For this latest Field Poll, pollsters sampled 1001 registered voters in English and Spanish between September 1 and 12. To read the full report, click here.

Categories: Jerry Brown, Selected Blog Posts, Accountability, Transparency, Restructuring

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