October 25, 2010: Reporting from Sacramento — Despite the struggling economy, most California voters oppose suspending the state's landmark global warming law, which would place strict new environmental regulations on business, a new Los Angeles Times/ USC poll shows.
Proposition 23, which would put the new emissions standards on hold, is trailing 48% to 32% among likely voters, according to the survey.
But as voters look inclined to stay the course with the state's global warming policies, they appear ready to radically change state budget policy. The poll found that 58% of likely voters support Proposition 25, which would replace the constitutional requirement that the state budget be approved by two-thirds of the Legislature with a simple majority vote requirement. Such a change would allow Democrats to pass a budget without any GOP votes under the current makeup of the Legislature.
The push to suspend the global warming law has been bankrolled in large part by out-of-state oil refining companies that stand to see profits decline as a result of the state's new regulations. The ballot measure would suspend implementation of the new air pollution rules until unemployment drops to 5.5% or less for a full year. State analysts say that could take many years, as the unemployment rate has stayed that low for a sustained period only three times since 1970.