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Gov. Jerry Brown, lawmakers and the state's future all looked brighter to residents after last month's passage of the Proposition 30 tax hike, according to a new poll released tonight by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California.

Brown's approval rating hit 48 percent among all California adults and slightly higher, 49 percent, among likely voters.

Legislators are less popular, the poll found, but the mercury is rising. Thirty-four percent of California adults gave the Legislature a thumbs up, the highest PPIC total since January 2008, when its approval rating was 39 percent.

Forty-four percent of respondents said things in California generally are going in the right direction, the highest tally since June 2007 -- and up 30 points from a low of 14 percent in July 2009.

"Many Californians are feeling positive about the state's outlook now and optimistic about the future," Mark Baldassare, PPIC president, said in a written statement. "But they also are feeling fiscally frugal. They are strongly opposed to raising their state taxes and strongly in favor of spending limits."

Among other findings:

• High hopes that the state is headed in the right direction tend to decline with age and vary by ethnic group. Fifty-four percent of Latinos have a favorable view, compared to 51 percent of Asians and 36 percent of whites.

• Majorities of Californians oppose raising taxes on themselves. Sixty-five percent of adults do not want sales taxes extended to services, for example, and 79 percent of adults turn thumbs down on raising the vehicle license fee.

• Strong majorities favor limiting increases in state spending each year, 65 percent of adults; bolstering the state's rainy day fund, 72 percent; and requiring any major new or expanded state program to identify a funding source, 79 percent.

• Six of every 10 adults say that Proposition 13's restrictions on hiking property taxes have been good for the state. But 57 percent of adults support amending it to create a "split roll" that would tax commercial properties based on current market value. Most Democrats and independent voters support that idea, 66 percent and 58 percent, respectively, while only 47 percent of Republicans endorse it.

Findings were based on a survey of 2,001 adults contacted by telephone throughout the state between Nov. 13-20. Sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for answers gleaned from all adults, and plus or minus four percentage points for findings attributed to a smaller pool, 1,025, representing likely voters.


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