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Poll: State Budget Proposal Gets Mixed Review

A Field Poll released today says a measure changing the State Constitution so that a budget can be adopted by 55 percent of lawmakers is getting mixed reviews from voters.

The Budget Accountability Act is expected to be on the March ballot.

The bill would change the current law, which requires a two-thirds majority for passage. It would prevent the governor and legislators from collecting their salaries and expenses when the budget is late. It would also require legislators seeking re-election to disclose how they voted on spending bills.

But, the Field Poll found voter reaction to the proposal differs dramatically depending on how the initiative is described.

Voters oppose the measure, 44 percent to 38 percent, when only told that the initiative lowers the threshold for adopting the state budget. When voters are informed of all the provisions of the measure, they overwhelmingly support it, 61 percent to 25 percent.

Poll director Mark DiCamillo said the big swing in voter sentiments points out the vulnerability of the measure to interpretation.