LOCAL PolitiCal

Gov. Jerry Brown gets support on budget, polls say

SACRAMENTO — As Gov. Jerry Brown enters spending negotiations with lawmakers, new polls say he enjoys steady support from Californians on his handling of the state budget.

A poll released Wednesday evening by the Public Policy Institute of California said 61% of adult residents think Brown has proposed a good budget plan.

Mark Baldassare, president and CEO of the institute, said voters appreciate the governor’s more cautious approach.

“People are not feeling fully confident that we’re in a robust recovery," he said. "They feel we have to prepare for rainy days and we can’t get ahead of ourselves.”

In fact, nearly twice as many likely voters said they would rather spend more money to reduce debt and build a reserve than to restore funding to social services.

The poll included 1,704 residents who were interviewed over the phone.

Another poll, from the California Business Roundtable and the Pepperdine Unviersity School of Public Policy, said 52.4% of registered voters believe the state should use Brown's more cautious budget forecast.

Just 11.7% said the state should rely on a more optimistic forecast from the nonpartisan legislative analyst, who estimated that the state will collect $3.2 billion more than the governor said.

The poll also revealed confusion about the state's budget situation. Almost 58% incorrectly believed the state was expecting a deficit this year, while almost 27% correctly said officials believe there will be a surplus.

The poll included 688 registered voters who were questioned online and 115 over the phone.

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Twitter: @chrismegerian

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