Capitol Alert

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Days after a Field Poll found a majority of Californians support the concept behind legislation scheduling all ballot measures during the November election, opponents of the bill are pushing back with their own poll results showing voters overwhelmingly oppose Senate Bill 202.

The poll, conducted for Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and the Small Business Action Committee, found that 59.9 percent of voters surveyed want Gov. Jerry Brown to veto the bill, compared to 20 percent who want him to sign it into law.

HJTA President Jon Coupal touted the results as a sign that Brown should veto the bill, noting that "several groups have discussed the possibility of a referendum" to challenge the change if it is signed into law.

So did voters have a change of heart on the contentious proposal that passed in the final hours of this year's legislative session? Not necessarily. The questions for the two polls differ dramatically, so it's not surprising to see dramatically different results.

The Field Poll surveyed voters on the general concept of considering all initiatives in November, while the HJTA-SBAC poll focused on the last-minute nature of the bill and a provision that would delay consideration of a "rainy day fund" measure put on the ballot as part of last year's budget agreement. The opponents' question does not mention that the bill would limit other future measures to November.

The HJTA-SBAC poll released Friday surveyed roughly 600 voters on Sept. 22, compared to a sample of just under 500 voters polled by Field between Sept. 1 and Sept. 12.

Read both questions and results below, then let us know whether you think Brown should sign or veto the bill in our own poll on the issue.

Field Poll:

Do you favor or oppose changing election laws so that statewide initiatives can only be placed before voters in a November general election instead of a primary election?

Favor: 56 %
Oppose: 32 %
No Opinion: 12 %

HJTA/ SBAC Poll:

In 2009, the Republicans and Democrats in the state legislature reached a bipartisan agreement to balance the state budget in which the Republicans agreed to support significant increases to the state's income, sale and car taxes and the Democrats agreed to put before voters in June of 2012 an initiative limiting state spending increases and increasing the state's rainy day fund. On the last day of the current legislative session however, the state legislature passed a union-backed bill that would delay public vote on the initiative until November of 2014. Do you believe Governor Jerry Brown should sign this bill delaying the initiative or veto the bill and allow voters to consider the initiative next June? (And is that strong or somewhat (sign/veto)?)

Total supporting signing the bill: 20.4%
Total opposing signing the bill: 59.9%
Don't know/refused 19.7%



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