Support dips for California governor’s budget plan

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Support for California Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to shut a $27 billion budget gap has eroded since he introduced it in January, a new poll by the Public Policy Institute of California showed on Wednesday.

Democrat Brown wants to close the budget hole with a mix of spending cuts and tax hikes, and he wants voters to get the chance to approve the package in a special election. So far Republicans have opposed the special election and tax hikes.

The state’s budget woes are some of the most pressing in the country and California, the biggest municipal debt issuer, is looked at as a bellwether for many states.

Support for Brown’s plan to hold a June special election has dropped to just over half of likely voters from two-thirds in January, the nonpartisan group said.

Support for Brown’s plan to extend tax cuts has dropped below a majority, falling 8 percentage points to 46 percent of all likely voters, the group said.

“While many Californians still favor the approach the governor proposed in January, his plan to seek a budget solution through a June ballot has become a more difficult task to achieve,” Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO, said in a statement.

(Reporting by Peter Henderson, editing by Anthony Boadle)

Support dips for California governor’s budget plan