California voters favor replacing the state's public defined benefit plans with defined contribution plans for new hires by a margin of 51% to 38%, according to the Field Poll, a survey of the Field Research Corp.. Eleven percent are undecided. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has urged changing state and local retirement systems as a way to control costs and says he will support a voter initiative if the Legislature fails to approve the idea.
A breakdown of results showed that Republicans favor the change by a margin of 65% to 26%, with 9% undecided. Among Democrats, 37% support the proposal, while 50% oppose it and 13% are undecided. Among non-partisan voters, 53% approve the proposal, with 36% opposed and 11% undecided.
California voters approve by a margin of 51% to 45% the governor's call for a special election if the Legislature fails to enact several reform proposals. However, once they're informed that the election would cost $50 million to $75 million, they oppose conducting the vote by more than two to one.