Proposed change to state lawmaker term limits sees support

SAN FRANCISCO
March 7, 2012 9:00pm
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•  Proposed hike in cigarette tax also favored, says poll

•  ‘Californians have steadfastly believed that legislative term limits are a good thing’


Two ballot initiatives on the June ballot enjoy strong majority support in the early stages of the campaign, according to a new statewide poll by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California.

Proposition 28 would reduce the amount of time state legislators may serve from 14 years to 12 years and would allow the 12 years of service in one house. The measure has the support of 68 percent of likely voters (24 percent oppose, 8 percent undecided).

Majorities support it across party, ideological, regional, and demographic groups.

Sixty-seven percent of likely voters say the outcome of the vote on this measure is important, and 22 percent say it is very important.

Likely voters' views of Proposition 28 are in keeping with their general perceptions of legislative term limits: 68 percent say they are a good thing for California, while just 11 percent say they are a bad thing.

"Californians have steadfastly believed that legislative term limits are a good thing for California, even as policy experts disagree about their overall impact," says Mark Baldassare, CEO of the Institute.

"Proposition 28 has strong majority support, and most of those who would vote yes on this reform also say that term limits are a good thing," he says.

Proposition 29 would impose an additional one-dollar tax on each pack of cigarettes and an equivalent tax increase on other tobacco products. The revenues would fund research for cancer and tobacco-related diseases.

When read the ballot title and label for this initiative, 67 percent of likely voters would vote yes, 30 percent would vote no, and 3 percent are undecided, says PPIC.

The proposition has majority support across political, ideological, regional, and demographic groups. Most (78 percent) say the outcome of the vote on the measure is important to them, with 41 percent saying it is very important and 37 percent saying it is somewhat important.

Most (63 percent) also say they support the general idea of increasing taxes on the purchase of cigarettes to help pay for state spending.

Methodology

The PPIC Statewide Survey was conducted with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. Findings are based on a telephone survey of 2,001 California adult residents interviewed on landlines and cell phones from Feb. 21-28, 2012. Interviews were conducted in English or Spanish according to respondents' preferences.

The sampling error, taking design effects from weighting into consideration, is ±3.4 percent for all adults, ±3.8 percent for the 1,334 registered voters, ±4.2 percent for the 859 likely voters, and ±7.4 percent for the 281 Republican primary likely voters.


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