Proposition 25 continues debate over state budget


Listen to the audio story here:

Passing a budget in most states only requires at least a 50 percent approval rate, but California is different. Annenberg Radio News reporter Chris Foy looks into the proposed ballot initiative.


Read the Legislative Analyst’s Office’s nonpartisan analysis of Proposition 25. There is also an analysis on all other initiatives and measures that will appear on November’s ballot.

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BLOG: California government dissatisfies some African-Americans

A poll released earlier this month revealed African-American voters’ dissatisfaction with California’s government, Los Angeles Wave reported.

The poll, sponsored by the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University, the Institute of Governmental Studies at University of California, Berkeley and the Center for California Studies at Sacramento State, showed only 29 percent of African-American voters believed state government reacted to their needs.

“I think the performance of the Legislature has been terrible,” poll respondent Joseph Harris, a resident of Los Angeles, told Los Angeles Wave. “There are lots of tough decisions, [but] the Legislature frequently pushes those decisions off [and] tries to see if the people will resolve them through initiatives or other steps.”

The sponsors designed the poll to better understand people typically underrepresented in California surveys. Voters could take the poll in English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese and Korean, Los Angeles Wave reported.

When the sponsors randomly selected 1,232 respondents, they discovered 101 of those respondents were African-American.

But Assembly Speaker Emeritus Karen Bass said the results of the poll did not surprise her, Los Angeles Wave reported.

“I don’t think African-Americans are any different than anybody else,” Bass said. “Everybody is dissatisfied with the government right now, [and] the bottom line is that when the economy is not doing well and when people are out of work, people point to the government and rightfully so.”

Poll respondent Michael Durkin, a resident of San Francisco, agreed. He, among most African-Americans who took the poll, blamed elected officials as the source of California’s problems, Los Angeles Wave reported.

“Legislators are just looking forward to the next election, and they will say and do whatever they can to get elected again,” Durkin said. “They are not talking to the constituents, [and] they are not talking to the public to see what their needs are.”