California voters give overwhelming approval to the policy priorities outlined by Gov. Gavin Newsom in his first state budget, according to a new poll from the Public Policy Institute of California.
In general, 74 percent of all Californians surveyed and 64 percent of likely voters said they favor the spending plan after hearing a summary of its highlights.
Especially popular among likely voters are plans to spend $1.8 billion to expand pre-kindergarten and early childhood programs (72 percent in support) and a plan to increase funding for higher education by $832 million (70 percent in support).
After winning 62 percent of the vote in the November election, Newsom receives mostly positive reviews in his first month on the job. Forty-three percent of likely voters approve of the job he's doing, while 29 percent disapprove. Twenty-nine percent are either undecided or say they need more information.
Newsom ran with the promise to prioritize programs aimed at reducing childhood poverty, extending parental leave, subsidizing child care and adding another free year of community college.
But in the PPIC poll, the top issue voters say they want the governor and Legislature to work on is immigration and illegal immigration.
However, just 27 percent of Californians agree with President Trump's assessment that there's a "crisis" on the border with illegal immigration, but 45 percent say "it is a serious" problem.
In addition, a solid 69 percent oppose building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border as Trump has suggested, with just 28 percent supporting it.
On another issue headed for the 2020 ballot, the landmark property tax-cutting measure Proposition 13 is viewed positively by 61 percent of all adults and 64 percent of likely voters 40 years after is passed. The newly proposed ballot measure would make it easier to raise commercial property taxes by easing the Proposition 13 protections against that. In the PPIC poll, California voters are divided on that idea, with 49 percent favoring the change and 43 percent opposed. Eight percent don't know.
The PPIC survey was based on interviews with 1,707 California adult residents between January 20 through 29, 2019.