Baldassare, Mark


Mark Baldassare is the President and CEO of the Public Policy Institute of California. The PPIC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research.

In Big Shift, Californians Oppose Offshore Oil Drilling

By Public Policy Institute of California

Three months after a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Californians’ support for more drilling off their coast has plunged, according to a survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC). A solid majority of the state’s residents now oppose more offshore drilling (59% oppose, 36% favor)—a 16-point increase in opposition from last year (43% oppose, 51% favor). The PPIC survey was conducted with support from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and is the 10th in a series about Californians and the environment.

In contrast to the shift in opinion on drilling, Californians’ views on another contentious environmental policy issue have held steady since last year. Two-thirds (67% today, 66% in 2009) favor the state law (AB 32) that requires California to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

Cut Prison Spending, Spare Schools, Worried Californians Say

By Mark Baldassare
Public Policy Institute of California

Most Californians would be willing to pay higher taxes to maintain current funding for public schools and most favor spending cuts in prisons and corrections, according to a survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. 

But while majorities want to protect K–12 schools and cut spending on prisons, Californians are as divided as their leaders on the overall strategy to deal with the state’s $20 billion budget deficit: 41 percent favor a mix of spending cuts and tax increases and 37 percent favor mostly spending cuts (9% favor mostly tax increases). They are in more agreement when it comes to asking the federal government for help, as Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has done: 66 percent say California should seek federal aid to help meet its budget obligations.