PPIC


PPIC is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. As a private operating foundation, PPIC does not take or support positions on any ballot measure or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office.

Majorities Favor Some Tax Increases, Including Extension of Proposition 30

By Public Policy Institute of California

Most Californians say the state is not providing enough funding for public colleges and universities. However, most residents are unwilling to pay higher taxes to maintain current funding for these institutions. And—amid debate over a tuition increase at the University of California—a record-high majority oppose raising student fees to do so.

These are among the key findings in a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).

Most Favor Water Bond, Rainy Day Fund Gains Ground

By Public Policy Institute of California

Jerry Brown maintains his strong lead among likely voters in the governor's race against Neel Kashkari. Among two statewide ballot measures that Brown is campaigning for, Proposition 1—the $7.5 billion water bond—continues to have majority support and Proposition 2—the "rainy day fund"—has gained ground since September, with about half of likely voters in favor today.

A majority continue to favor Proposition 47, the measure to reduce sentences for some drug and property offenses. Support for Proposition 45—which would give the state insurance commissioner authority over health insurance rates—has declined since last month and continues to fall short of a majority.

Brown Holds Big Lead—Majorities Support Water Bond, Measure to Ease Crime Penalties

By Public Policy Institute of California

Jerry Brown holds a 21 point lead over Neel Kashkari among likely voters in the governor’s race, and there is majority support both for a state water bond and a proposition that would reduce penalties for some drug and property offenses. Likely voters are more divided on two other statewide ballot initiatives, one that would establish a budget stabilization account—or rainy day fund—and another that would give the state insurance commissioner authority over changes in health insurance rates.

These are among the key findings of a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), with funding from The James Irvine Foundation.

Top-Two Primary Engages Independents—Despite Low Turnout Overall

By Public Policy Institute of California

In the first test of California's top-two primary in 2012, the new system failed to produce the increase in voter turnout that many had hoped for. But it did appear to encourage participation of independent voters. Under the new system independents are no longer required to take the extra step of requesting a ballot with all legislative and congressional contests on it. As a result, more independents appear to have voted in these primary races than they had under the old system.

These are among the key findings of a report released Wednesday by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).

Common Core, New Funding Formula Get High Marks

By PPIC

Most Californians favor two historic changes under way in K–12 education: implementation of new English and math standards and a new funding formula that gives school districts increased flexibility over spending and provides extra money for disadvantaged students.

At the same time, most Californians are concerned about whether teachers are prepared to implement the new standards, called the Common Core State Standards. And many residents lack confidence that local districts will make wise use of the money allotted to them in the new Local Control Funding Formula.

These are among the key findings of a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).

School Parcel Taxes: Usage Won't Really Expand With Easier Passage

By Public Policy Institute of California

Lowering the vote threshold for passage of local school parcel taxes would likely allow far more to pass. But there is no evidence that it would expand their use beyond the sort of wealthy Bay Area school districts that already have them. These are the key findings of a report released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).

The report assesses the potential effect of reducing the vote required to pass these taxes from two-thirds to 55 percent—a proposal the state legislature has been discussing. Although a parcel tax is one of the only local revenue options available to school districts, these taxes are not widespread. Only about 10 percent of districts have passed one, and the money raised amounts to less than 1 percent of total K–12 revenue.

Majority See Global Warming, Energy as Important Issues—and Prefer Obama

By the Public Policy Institute of California

Most California likely voters say that the presidential candidates’ positions on global warming and energy policy are important in determining their vote, and a majority trust President Obama over Mitt Romney on these issues. These are among the key findings of a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), conducted with funding from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

While global warming and energy policy have not been the focus of debate in the campaigns so far, 30 percent of California likely voters say these issues are very important in determining their choice for president and 42 percent say they are somewhat important. A majority—54 percent—say they trust Obama to handle these issues, while 33 percent trust Romney.

Efforts to Help Struggling Students Pass Exit Exam Are Too Little, Too Late

By the Public Policy Institute of California

State-funded support services for students who fail the California High School Exit Exam in grade 10 have helped only a small percentage of students go on to pass the test and obtain their diplomas, according to a report released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).

The PPIC report assesses the impact of two state laws allocating funds to districts for tutoring and other services to help students pass the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE), which is administered several times before the end of grade 12. One law, AB 128, funds tutoring and other support for students primarily in grades 11 and 12. A second, AB 347, provides two additional years of support for students to re-enroll in school if they have failed to pass the exam by the end of grade 12.

Drop in Support for Cigarette Tax, Most Back Term Limits Change, Majority Favor Brown’s Initiative

By Public Policy Institute of California

Two weeks before the June primary, just over half of likely voters say they will vote yes on a proposition to impose an additional $1 tax on cigarettes—a big decline in support from March. Most likely voters say they will vote for a measure to alter legislative term limits. These are among the key findings of a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), with support from The James Irvine Foundation.  

Support for the cigarette tax, Proposition 29, has dropped 14 points among likely voters since March. Today, 53 percent say they will vote yes, 42 percent say they will vote no, and 5 percent are undecided on the measure, which would tax other tobacco products as well, with revenues going to research on cancer and other tobacco-related diseases. In March—before the active campaign for and against the measure began—67 percent supported it, 30 percent opposed it, and 3 percent were undecided.   

Worried About School Funding, Most Favor Tax Increase—For the Rich

By the Public Policy Institute of California

California’s likely voters favor raising the state income taxes of the wealthiest state residents to provide more money for public schools, but most oppose increasing the state sales tax for this purpose. These are among the key findings of a statewide survey on K–12 education released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).

The survey finds that 65 percent of likely voters favor raising the top rate of state income tax paid by the wealthiest Californians (34% oppose). By contrast, 46 percent support raising the state sales tax (52% oppose). Temporary increases in both of these taxes are components of Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed November ballot initiative to deal with the state’s multibillion-dollar budget gap.