Thursday, January 29, 2015

Mixed message

The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) has a new opinion poll out.* As you can see on the pie chart, higher ed comes in a distant second to K-12 as a top priority for spending. On the other hand, there is a perception that the budget crisis is fading so there might be more willingness to put money into higher ed. The governor doesn't want to do so, but the legislature is more accommodating.

On the other hand, the general public and voters specifically have very little knowledge of the state budget. PPIC finds that 42% of adults (and likely voters) think that the prisons are the biggest expenditure in the state budget when K-12 (by far) is the biggest category. There is a tendency to think that what you don't like is what the state spends its money on. Half of Democrats think that prisons are the top category. A plurality of Republicans (38%) think its social welfare spending.


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