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May 2 , 2003

In survey, Capital Region
residents weigh in on state budget

full report

Nearly half the residents in California’s Capital Region prefer cutting prison spending if cuts are needed to balance the state budget, according to a survey by researchers at California State University, Sacramento. That preference is in sharp contrast to Gov. Gray Davis’ January budget proposal.

Meanwhile, just 10.1 percent of the region’s residents prefer cuts to public health and welfare, 8 percent to higher education and 1.5 percent to K-12 education. About one-third don’t want cuts to any of the four major categories of state spending.

The budget findings are from the second “Survey of Public Opinion and Life Quality in the Sacramento Region.”

The survey asked about various options for solving the state’s budget deficit, which could be as high as $35 billion. The governor’s initial budget proposal in January made no cuts to corrections. The State Legislature is currently debating the budget, and the governor’s next budget proposal, the “May Revise,” is expected May 14.

Capital Region residents also said they didn’t want an increase to the vehicle license fee (75 percent). Slightly more than half support raising the sales tax and 62 percent support raising the income tax on the wealthiest taxpayers.

Overall, 46 percent said the budget should be balanced with a mix of spending cuts and tax increases, while 34 percent prefer just spending cuts and 8 percent prefer just tax increases.

The second “Annual Survey of Public Opinion and Life Quality in the Sacramento Region” was carried out by CSUS sociology professor Amy Liu and more than 30 students at the Institute for Social Research. They surveyed 996 randomly selected adults in the Capital Region from Feb. 15 to March 13. The margin of error is 3 percent.

Additional media assistance is available from CSUS public affairs at (916) 278-6156.

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California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
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