Opposition to 5 of 6 Ballot Measures is Growing

Fresno, California When /*Governor Schwarzenegger*/ signed the budget in February the spending plan closed a 42 billion dollar budget gap and essentially saved the state from insolvency. But California's spending plan won't work long term without the passage of six propositions on next Tuesday's ballot.

According to the latest Exclusive Action News Poll conducted by SurveyUSA ... opposition to five of the six ballot measures is growing. For example, proposition one-a is opposed by more than half of those surveyed. Prop one -a calls a larger rainy day fund or slush fund to compensate in bad budget years.

Voters opinions seem to boil down to the issue of tax increases.

/*Chris Mathys*/ of the /*San Joaquin Valley Taxpayers Association*/ says the problem with the propositions is they are a disguise for major, massive tax increase. Mathys stands with the majority of Californians surveyed. He believes raising taxes is not the answer to the state's budget problems. Mathys said, "The way we look at it is if we're in a tight economy, the first thing we need to do is cut, cut, cut are the first three things."

/*Al Smith*/ of the /*Fresno Area Chamber of Commerce*/ says cuts are definitely in order but he says the Chamber supports all but one proposition because tax increases today will build state coffers for tomorrow.

Smith said, "If the people who are experts in this are right ... we may spend more taxes today ... but we'll spend double that amount tomorrow. So if we bite the bullet early in the game, I feel we'll be better off down the road."

Though Smith and Mathys disagree on the whether the propositions should pass, they and many other Californians say the state's budget problems won't go away until partisan legislators go away.

ABC30 Political Analyst /*Tony Capozzi*/ says it was partisan politics that put the propositions on the ballot in the first place. Capozzi said, "Senator Abel Maldonado was the lone republican holdout for the budget to pass. What he did was put out a laundry list of demands before he would vote for the budget. And the state legislature acceded to all of his demands."

Capozzi says changing the way legislators get elected will ultimately help partisan problems like this year's budget stalemate. But any change will come too late to prevent the budget mess the state is in now.

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