Poll: Majority Of Voters Want Pension Reform For Calif. Workers

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — An overwhelming number of Californians from across the political spectrum support plans to reform the pension system for public workers, according to a poll published on Monday.

The recent USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times survey shows taxpayers would back a referendum on Governor Brown’s plan to extend certain taxes in order to close the budget gap

70 percent of voters — includes 66 percent of self-identified liberals, 71 percent of moderates and 69 percent of conservatives — support capping both future and current pensions of public employees including teachers, police officers and prison guards.

Among people in unions or union households, 62 percent supported capping the pensions of both future and current public employees in order to help balance the budget, according to the poll results.

“Californians really want a vote on this,” said Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC and director of the poll.

“I can’t remember an issue that has exploded on the political landscape with the speed and force of the debate over public employee pensions,” Schnur said.

The issue of public employee pensions is a central element of budget negotiations between Gov. Jerry Brown and the state Legislature.

The poll was conducted April 7-17 with a sample size of 1,503 respondents. It has a margin of error of +/- 2.53 percentage points.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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