No pay raises for state legislators in years when there is a state budget deficit
Although five of the six ballot propositions (1A through 1F) were intended to close an approximately $42 billion budget gap, the California Legislative Analyst's Office, an agency of the state government, said in early March that tax revenues flowing into the state treasury are "well below" the projections it used earlier in the year, and that California's government now faces an additional $8 billion gap in addition to the earlier $42 billion gap.
Public opinion polling
The Field Poll conducted a public opinion research survey between February 20 and March 1 to assess the current state of public opinion regarding the six budget-related measures on the May 19 ballot. A Sacramento Bee report notes that the poll question on Prop 1A "omitted the fact that it would trigger $16 billion in tax hikes."
A Public Policy Institute of California poll that concluded in late March showed declining support for 5 of the 6 budget measures. Mark Baldassare of PPIC characterized the poll results as indicating, "Voters' disappointment with the state's elected leaders is deep, and the temptation to send a message by voting down these propositions is strong."
On April 20-21, SurveyUSA conducted a poll of 1,300 California adults for KABC-TV Los Angeles, KPIX-TV San Francisco, KGTV-TV San Diego, and KFSN-TV Fresno. 15% of the registered voters they spoke with had already cast their vote. They concluded, "As early voting begins on six state of California ballot propositions, opposition is growing to 5 of the 6 measures."
Field conducted a second poll between April 16-26 that indicates that "voters strongly oppose" five of the six budget measures on the May 19 ballot, including Prop 1A. According to Field Poll Director Mark DiCamillo, "The majority of voters just doesn't believe what is being sold to them. The skepticism extends up and down the ballot. Voters feel the Legislature isn't doing its job, hasn't been able to work with the governor and is just passing these things on to them."
PPIC conducted its second poll on the propositions between April 27-May 4. This poll shows growing opposition to five of the six measures. Worse news, from the point-of-view of supporters, is the poll's finding that "the more voters learn about the measures, the more likely they are to want to vote them down."
In contrast to the 78% voter turnout in November 2008 in San Mateo County, elections manager David Tom says he expects a much lower turnout for the May 19 election, in the vicinity of 30-35%.
Ventura County Assistant Registrar of Voters Tracy Saucedo said on May 15 that about a third of voters who had been issued mail-in ballots had returned them, or about 13% of Ventura County's 422,342 registered voters. This rate of voting is about the same as the June 2008 ballot proposition election, in which a total of 29.5% of voters in the county ultimately voted.
Fresno County Clerk Victor Salazar said, ""I just don't see any driving force that's going to bring out the voters." He predicts that turnout in the county will come to 25% of registered voters. It was 72% in November.
Not on 2009 ballot
Other ballot propositions that had been under discussion but which ultimately did not appear on the May ballot were: