Marisa Lagos, Chronicle Columnist
Saturday, May 26, 2012

Gov. Jerry Brown must have been pretty tickled with the results of an independent poll released this week that showed most likely voters willing to support his November tax initiative, a key part of his plan to balance the state budget. But Brown could not have been quite as upbeat after reading a little deeper: Voters are none too pleased with many of the details of his tax hike and budget cuts, particularly those Democrats and independent voters he needs so badly to vote for the ballot measure.

For example, while 56 percent of likely voters told the Public Policy Institute of California that they’d vote for the tax hike, 58 percent oppose a key part of it – the quarter-cent sales tax increase. They also hate the automatic spending cuts to public education if voters reject the Brown’s tax plan. And we mean hate – 72 percent oppose these trigger cuts.

And 50 percent of survey respondents said they oppose the deep cuts to health care, welfare, social services, courts and state employees Brown is proposing in his latest budget plan.

Meanwhile, just 42 percent approve of the governor’s performance.

Guns and politics: In a move that certainly appears to be a dig at one of their own, the state Assembly this week approved a bill that would make it mandatory for police to arrest anyone caught with a loaded, concealed firearm at an airport.

You might think that’s already the law, but when Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks (San Bernardino County), was found at Ontario International Airport this year with exactly that, he was cited and released. (He later paid a $2,200 fine.)

Assemblywoman Norma Torres, D-Pomona (Los Angeles County), who sponsored the legislation, insisted this week that the bill was purely a public safety measure – though Republican lawmakers weren’t buying it.

Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries, R-Lake Elsinore (Riverside County), for example, asked which lawmaker would be targeted next for a mistake. Other GOP Assembly members also responded angrily, though Donnelly did not speak during the floor debate.

And for the record, San Bernardino’s Ontario Airport is in Torres’ district.

The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

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