It could be a long day – and a long night – for California lawmakers. They face a constitutional deadline of midnight Wednesday to pass a budget … or else they won’t get paid. Republicans are holding firm against extending several tax increases. So Democrats plan to use their new majority-vote budget power to pass a spending plan without the taxes. It relies instead on extra cuts, accounting maneuvers and more.
Meantime, a new Field Poll on the budget is out just in time for today’s debate. As with most recent polls on the budget, this one is kinda all over the place. Slightly more than half of voters say they’d be willing to extend the temporary tax increases – though that’s down quite a bit from three months ago. And a narrow 49-to-45 percent of Californians say they support Governor Jerry Brown’s call to extend the taxes a few months until voters can decide for themselves.
But change the wording to “are you willing to pay higher taxes?” and the answer is a clear “no” – by a three-to-two margin. That shows the importance of how the question is framed to voters if there ever is a special election.