Key state lawmakers have finally hammered out a state budget, 81 days after the start of the fiscal year — perhaps bringing an end to the longest budget stalemate in California history, after a veto threat from the governor held things up for three days. (The previous record for the length of time it took to pass a budget was in 2002, when a budget was not passed until August 31.)
Part of the impetus for the sudden movement on the budget after weeks of no movement may have been a recent Field Poll that showed state legislators with the lowest approval ratings ever recorded in the poll — 15% of registered voters approve of the job state legislators are doing, while 73% disapprove. (The previous record, 23%, was set in July 1992, in the midst of another serious state budget crisis.)
While Governor Schwarzenegger’s approval ratings have now declined to nearly the lowest level of his time in office, he may take some solace from the fact that there appears to be little public appetite for a recently-launched effort by the California Correctional Peace Officers Association to recall him. Schwarzenegger’s approval ratings are now at 38%, according to a new Field Poll, which is just two points higher than his previous low point, in August 2005 (when he had 36% approval). However, when news of recall efforts against Gray Davis first surfaced in April 2003, his approval ratings were at 24%. According to the new poll, 63% of registered voters statewide say that they would vote against any effort to recall Schwarzenegger were it to appear on the ballot. 46% of registered voters in April 2003 said that they would vote to recall Gray Davis.