Two big headlines out of a new Los Angeles Times/USC poll:
- Californians have undergone a major turnaround on filling the remaining budget gap with tax extensions, as opposed to more spending cuts. Sixty percent now back putting those tax measures, favored by Gov. Jerry Brown and Democrats, on the ballot, with only 33 percent favoring all-cuts. When respondants were informed that the reductions would eat into school budgets, support for that approach dropped to just 25 percent. That's down from last November, when 44 percent wanted the budget gap to be closed with spending cuts alone.
- A clear majority of those surveyed favor a variety of pension reform measures for public employees, all of which would require them to contribute more to their retirement benefits. Most people wanted these changes for both future and current employees.
KQED newcaster Joshua Johnson spoke to Dan Schnur, Director of the Jess Unruh Institute of Politics at USC. On the issue of tax extensions, Schnur credited Jerry Brown with successfully getting his message out on a mixed cuts/taxes approach. Schnur also said that the poll revealed voters as "vehement" about getting a chance to vote on the tax extension, which is also favored by Brown, but opposed by Republicans.
On pension reform, Schnur said that he's "never seen an issue arise on the political landscape so quickly and with such force."