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SEIU Survey Shows California Republicans Support Budget Compromise Including New Revenue

by: Courtni Pugh

Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 11:58:51 AM PDT

(Courtney is the head of SEIU State Council.  Good stuff in this poll. - promoted by Julia Rosen)

The Service Employee International Union (SEIU) California State Council is releasing our new poll today showing 65 percent of California Republican voters say GOP Legislators should work with Democrats to achieve a practical compromise to produce a balanced budget - including revenue increases. Just 29 percent of those surveyed agree GOP Legislators should resist any tax increase even if it means gridlock.

As you know, California's State Legislature is four weeks overdue in passing this year's state budget. According to our State Controller John Chiang's office, the gridlock in Sacramento is causing a ripple of concern and crisis throughout California communities as the State's $2 billion reserve fund for community health clinics and small hospitals ran out of money earlier this week, July 28. Schools, community colleges and local governments, which typically receive a significant portion of their funding at the end of this month, will not because there is no state budget.

In addition, Governor Schwarzenegger has threatened to sign an Executive Order today which would lay off 22,000 employees and force another nearly 200,000 state workers to work for $6.55 an hour - well under the poverty level for a California family of four. Controller Chiang has vowed to refuse to comply with this illegal threat and meaningless stop-gap strategy. We appreciate his responsible leadership and willingness to stand up to Governor Schwarzenegger.  

Here are the details on our survey... [Note by Julia: edited to put it on the flip.]

Courtni Pugh :: SEIU Survey Shows California Republicans Support Budget Compromise Including New Revenue
SEIU CA State Council's survey of 800 registered California Republicans was conducted June 5 through June 9 by The Feldman Group. Key findings are as follows:

* 85 percent of Republican voters say the budget deficit has them concerned

* 65 percent say they think Republican Legislators should work with Democrats to achieve a compromise including budget cuts and revenue increases.

* 54 percent support increasing the top bracket of the state income taxes from 9.3 to 10 percent for families with taxable income over $272,000 annually and to 11 percent for families with more than $544,000 a year in taxable income.

* 54 percent support closing the loophole that allow.

* 56 percent support the sales tax to entertainment such as concerts and sporting events.

* 64 percent support a bill to prevent people who purchase yachts and luxury vehicles from avoiding sales taxes on these purchases.

In a split sample, half of the participants were told "Democrats, Who make up about 60 percent of the legislature, say they will never approve spending cuts and Republicans, who make up about 40 percent of the legislature, say they will never approve raising taxes. Neither side has the two-thirds votes necessary to pass the budget." When asked what respondents think legislators should do, an overwhelming 71 percent said both sides should work out a practical compromise of cuts and new revenue without gimmicks and more borrowing.

SEIU is the largest union and one of the largest advocacy organizations in California. Our more than 700,000 health care professionals, public service providers and service workers are dedicated to protecting and strengthening California's communities. That's why our members - Democrats and Republican - are reaching out to their elected officials in Sacramento and allies on the local level to encourage Legislators to compromise on a balanced, responsible budget that gets California moving again.

Courtni Pugh, ED, SEIU California State Council

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