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Poll: California is sunny again, higher ratings for Gov. Brown and budget




California Gov. Jerry Brown walks on stage before speaking during the Drive The Dream event at the Exploratorium on September 16, 2013 in San Francisco, California.
California Gov. Jerry Brown walks on stage before speaking during the Drive The Dream event at the Exploratorium on September 16, 2013 in San Francisco, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Californians are more optimistic about their government and the state’s public coffers, but there is a racial disparity in attitudes on the controversial issue of policing, according to a poll conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).

Governor Jerry Brown's approval rating has hit a new high of 61 percent among the 1,705 polled (plus/minus 3.6 percent). Seventy-five percent of respondents also support Brown's latest budget plan to pay down debt and build up reserves instead of reinvesting in social services. A smaller number - 52 percent of likely voters - support rumored talk of extending higher income and sales taxes under Proposition 30.

PPIC added questions about police performance in communities, in light of the high profile killings of unarmed black men last year. The poll results show: "Across racial/ethnic groups, most whites (74%), Latinos (57%), and Asians (56%) give their local police positive marks, while only 36 percent of blacks do so. In the aftermath of several incidents involving the police and minority communities, most Californians (55%) say that blacks and other minorities do not receive equal treatment in the criminal justice system and 39 percent say they do."

How do these poll results match up with your views? Is there cause for greater optimism?

Guests:

David Siders, state politics reporter for the Sacramento Bee. He tweets at @davidsiders

Fernando Guerra, professor of political science and director of the Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University