A new Field poll found voters support Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposals to reform state government.But the support drops dramatically when it comes to putting those reforms to the voters in a special election.
Using elaborate props and colored water to promote his plan for spending cuts, Schwarzenegger renewed his call to shut off the red ink.
The Governor has called lawmakers to a special session to consider his proposal for a Constitutional amendment that would prohibit deficit spending.
"Just because the special interests control the politicians," said Schwarzenegger. "They shoo them into office, then the politicians owe them favors. The special interests are holding out their hands, give me the money. That's what they've done for years. Take the money here, there, we don't care about the taxpayers."
Democrats in Sacramento think the Governor's plan could have unintended consequences.
"We should look at cuts where they can be made," said state Assemblyman Dave Jones. "But just to approach the budget with a meat ax and basically make cuts across the board as he's proposing makes no sense."
The Governor proposed four major reform measures for the special session and if lawmakers don't act, he threatened to take his plans to the voters in a special election next November.
But the latest Field poll indicates while a majority of voters favor those proposals, they don't like the price tag.
The random sampling of registered voters finds early support for Schwarzenegger's plans to redraw political district lines to base teacher pay on merit rather than tenure, to reform the state workers pension system, and to Constitutionally ban budget deficits.
By a slim margin, voters narrowly approve of Schwarzenegger's threat to call a special election.
But once they're told of the price tag for that election, between $50 million to $70 million, voters surveyed in the field poll rejected the idea by a greater than 2-1 margin.