LOUNDONVILLE — A new Siena College Research Institute poll shows mixed feelings toward potential state budget items as power brokers push to negotiate a spending package before the looming April 1 deadline.
Pollsters from the Loudonville college found that Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposed ban on flavored tobacco and amendments to bail reform have majority support from respondents: 58% and 72%, respectively. Her proposal to give judges more discretion to set cash bail for those accused of serious crimes carries more than 60% support from GOP respondents.
Meanwhile, her push to electrify all homes under seven stories within the 2020s has 49% support and her proposed 3% tuition hike at most public colleges and 6% at public universities has only 30% support. For the latter, the opposition is even wider: 60% Democrats, 67% Republicans and 71% voters not affiliated with either party.
The governor’s plans to increase the housing stock by at least 3% downstate and 1% upstate every three years has 45% support. Between Republicans and Democrats, the plan has 57% and 24% support, respectively. Voters unaffiliated with either party sit in the middle at 41%.
Not on Hochul’s agenda is a state legislature-favored proposal to raise the personal income tax rate for filers with income of more than $5 million and $25 million. That proposal has support from 83% Democrats, 64% Republicans and 74% of voters unaffiliated with either party.
“As Governor Kathy Hochul and state legislators work to pass a new state budget, two proposals being discussed enjoy strong bipartisan support and one has strong bipartisan opposition,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg in a press release.
Meanwhile, Hochul’s favorability is at 43%, down slightly from 46% in February.
The governor, who succeeded Democrat Andrew Cuomo amid allegations of sexual harassment, has never received majority support from a Siena poll. Her highest numbers were in January of this year at 48%.
The vast majority of voters polled have no opinion of Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie or state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.
Half of voters in the poll have a positive view of the state Senate and 44% have a positive view of the state Assembly. That’s up five points and down one point from last month, respectively.
Most Democrats polled believe that Hochul will represent their priorities in budget negotiations, compared to only 7% for Stewart-Cousins and 6% for Heastie. Meanwhile, 47% Republicans don’t believe either branch of Democratic supermajority carries their interests.
“Hochul hit her highest favorability and job approval ratings in January — although she has never had a majority of New Yorkers viewing her favorably — and has slipped a little in each of the last two months,” Greenberg said in a press release. “It will be interesting, after the dust settles from the budget battles in the coming days — and weeks? — to see how voters grade Hochul — and the Legislature.”
Tyler A. McNeil can be reached at 518-395-3047 or [email protected] Follow him on Facebook at Tyler A. McNeil, Daily Gazette or Twitter @TylerAMcNeil.