Contact: Mike Myslinski at 650-552-5324
BURLINGAME – A majority of Californians opposes more borrowing schemes to end the state’s $15.2 billion state budget deficit – and 69 percent of voters favor increasing the state sales tax to prevent cuts to public education, according to a new poll of California voters.
“Voters agree with what educators have been saying for months now, that more borrowing to end the record budget stalemate is a reckless idea that shortchanges our students and their futures,” said David A. Sanchez, president of the 340,000-member CTA. “Borrowing schemes undermine the state’s minimum school funding guarantee and will shortchange students and schools for years to come. Lawmakers need to take responsibility and pass a budget that truly makes public education a priority, rather than keeping California school funding at the bottom nationwide.”
The poll of 800 likely voters conducted Sept. 2-3 by the Mellman Group, Inc. shows California voters are deeply frustrated about the state budget delays but strongly believe lawmakers should pass a responsible budget rather than rush through a poor spending plan that hurts schools and the state. The new poll shows that:
- California voters are increasingly alarmed about the state budget situation, with 90% regarding the delay as a problem and 53% saying the budget gridlock has reached crisis proportions.
- 85% of Californians recognize that the budget is late – with 68% saying it’s very late.
- 66% of voters agree that California has already borrowed too much and that the debt has contributed to the budget crisis. Voters of all parties strongly agree that the state’s level of bond debt is too high: Democrats, 59%; Independents, 56%, and Republicans, 59%.
- 61% of voters support temporarily increasing the sales tax by one cent over having the state borrow money without raising taxes.
- 60% prioritize preventing cuts to education over preventing a tax increase.
- 69% support increasing the sales tax by one cent in order to prevent cuts to education.
- 78% oppose giving the governor the unchecked power to cut education funding in the middle of the year, without voter or legislative approval.
The polling data is available on the CTA website at www.cta.org.