Effects of global warming in California

Posted on April 8th, 2009 — in Politics

Climate Action Team Report [Climate Action Team]

Water shortages, a longer forest fire season, and significant cropland loss could be in store for California as the climate warms in the coming decades, according to a new report. The Climate Action Team Report examines the impact of global warming on California’s public health,
infrastructure, and natural resources — and warns that “severe and costly climate impacts are possible and likely across California” if greenhouse gas emissions are not curbed.

Impact of Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Posted on March 18th, 2009 — in National Affairs :: Politics :: Public Finance

The California Budget Project has created a table describing many of the provisions in the $787 billion stimulus package that will benefit California. Details for each provision include program area, purpose, and estimated impact in California.

State Budget Crisis Finally Resolved (And New Poll Possibly Gave Lawmakers a Push)

Posted on September 19th, 2008 — in Politics :: Polls and Surveys :: State Budget

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.)

Effort to Recall Schwarzenegger Appears to Have No Broad Support

Posted on September 16th, 2008 — in Governor :: Politics :: Polls and Surveys

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.

New Survey Measures Voter Attitudes about Governor, Lawmakers, Budget Deficit

Posted on July 23rd, 2008 — in Governor :: Legislature :: Politics :: Polls and Surveys :: State Budget

Another new Field Poll shows attitudes of registered voters about Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger continuing to show a decline trend, with the governor now at 46% disapproval and 40% approval, the lowest rating that he has had since April 2006. The governor’s only consolation may be that voter attitudes about the Legislature are even worse, with 57% disapproval and 27% approval (the worst rating since October 2005). 68% of registered voters now say that they consider the state’s budget situation to be “very serious,” but 41% and 52% of registered voters also express “not much” optimism about the ability of the governor and the Legislature respectively to resolve the situation (up from 29% and 40% in December 2007).

Low Voter Awareness about November Ballot Measures, But Generally Good First Impressions

Posted on July 23rd, 2008 — in Ballot Measures :: Politics :: Polls and Surveys

Voter awareness thus far about several of the November ballot measures is limited, according to a new Field Poll, but when likely voters are told about the initiatives, they tend to favor them. The poll asked voters about five of the ballot measures (Proposition 1, the high speed rail bond; Proposition 2, the farm animal cruelty prevention measure; Proposition 4, the abortion parental notification measure; Proposition 7, the renewable energy standards measure; and Proposition 11, the redistricting measure). The ballot measures generally registered voter awareness in the 15% to 25% range, with the abortion measure having the highest level of awareness at 45%. When given a summary of the measures, voters generally had positive reactions, with support ranging from 41% for the redistricting measure to 63% for the farm animal and renewable energy measures.

Peripheral Canal Back on the Delta Policy Agenda?

Posted on July 21st, 2008 — in Ballot Measures :: Growth, Development & Infrastructure :: Politics :: Resources and Environment

A new report from the Public Policy Institute of California re-emphasizes the point (made in previous PPIC reports, as well as reports from the Delta Vision Blue Ribbon Task Force) that the systems that currently hold the Delta ecosystem together are “unstable and headed for major change.” The report makes several recommendations to improve the Delta, including building a peripheral canal, a proposal that is sure to be controversial, given the 63-37% defeat of a ballot measure in June 1982 that proposed a similar solution. (PPIC has an interactive map that displays county voting patterns on Proposition 9, showing the significant disparity between voting patterns in most of the counties of southern California, together with Kern County, and the rest of the state.)

New Field Poll Shows Slight Majority against Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Posted on July 18th, 2008 — in Ballot Measures :: Politics :: Polls and Surveys :: Social Policy

Proposition 8, which qualified for the November ballot on June 2, would amend the state constitution to read that “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

According to a new Field Poll, if the election were held today, a slight majority of voters would reject this ballot measure (by a 51% to 42% margin). Geographic and partisan differences are significant. In the coastal regions of the state, voters oppose Proposition 8 by a margin of 56% to 37%, while in the inland regions, supporters outnumber opponents by 54% to 40%. 63% of Democrats polled say that they intend to vote against the amendment. 68% of Republicans say that they intend to vote for it. There are also significant differences in opinion depending on ethnicity (Hispanics tend slightly to favor the amendment and other ethnic groups tend slightly to oppose it), religion (Protestants favor the amendment by 56% to 40%, while Catholics are evenly divided), and whether the voter knows someone who is gay or lesbian (those who do oppose the amendment 54% to 40%).

The poll also indicates that voter awareness about Proposition 8 is already fairly high, with 62% saying that they had seen or heard something about it.

Proposition 98 Looks Headed to Defeat on June 3

Posted on May 30th, 2008 — in Ballot Measures :: Growth, Development & Infrastructure :: Politics :: Polls and Surveys

Another new Field Poll shows that the chances look slim that Proposition 98, the more prominent of two ballot measures tackling eminent domain issues, will be passed in next week’s primary election. (In addition to reforming eminent domain, Proposition 98 would eradicate existing local rent control laws across the state.) Likely voters in the primary oppose Proposition 98 by a margin of 43-33% and support the competing initiative, Proposition 99, by a margin of 48-30%. The summary of the poll results points out that the last initiative to feature eminent domain reform, Proposition 90, was defeated by a 52-48% margin in November 2006.

Same-Sex Marriage Polls Reflect Issue’s Renewed Front-Burner Status

Posted on May 28th, 2008 — in Ballot Measures :: Politics :: Polls and Surveys :: Social Policy

Same-sex marriage is once again a major issue in California politics after the state Supreme Court’s 4-3 decision May 15 that affirmed the right of same-sex couples to wed — and the increased likelihood following that decision that an initiative will appear on the November ballot to amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriages or any other solemnification of same-sex partnerships.

Two new surveys, one from the Los Angeles Times and KTLA, the other from the Field Poll, highlight the intensity of the balance of opinion about same-sex marriage in California. The Times/KTLA poll, which came out on Friday, showed the proposed initiative garnering 54-35% support among registered voters. The article accompanying the poll said that despite the apparent majority backing the ballot measure, “the state is moving closer to accepting nontraditional marriages” and “because ballot measures on controversial topics often lose support during the course of a campaign, strategists typically want to start out well above the 50% support level.”

The Field Poll, released this morning, showed that for the first time since the organization began asking the question in 1977, a razor-thin majority of California registered voters approves the idea of allowing same-sex couples to marry, by a margin of 51 to 42%. However, reflecting the fact that this opinion balances on the head of a pin, the further demographic breakdowns of the poll reveal much sharper splits, with Republicans, Catholics and Protestants, voters over the age of 65, and Central Valley voters opposing same-sex marriage by wide margins.