High marks for Jerry Brown in new poll

California voters are happier than ever with Gov. Jerry Brown and less concerned about the state budget than they have been in years, according to a new poll released Wednesday night.

The poll from the Public Policy Institute of California said 61% of registered voters approve of Brown's job performance, up from 58% last year.

In addition, the Legislature received its highest marks in more than a decade, with 49% approving of the job lawmakers are doing.

Californians' concerns are also shifting, according to the poll. Only 46% of registered voters said the state budget situation is a big problem, the lowest level since 2007.

"Budget worries are finally subsiding in California," PPIC President Mark Baldassare said in a statement. "Still, most Californians want their state budget to focus on paying down debt instead of restoring social service funding."

In addition, 50% said they favor extending Proposition 30, the temporary tax increases approved by voters in 2012. Brown, who pushed the taxes, has said he wants to let the taxes expire as previously planned, but some Democrats and activists want to keep them.

The poll included 1,705 respondents and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6%. It was conducted from Jan. 11 to Jan. 20.

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