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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown is getting a lot of love from California voters. A poll released yesterday by the Public Policy Institute of California says strong majorities of likely voters approve of his overall handling of the job and of the budget proposal he released earlier this month. Six in 10 likely voters approve of Brown's job performance, including 57 percent of independents. His budget proposal, which funnels more money to K-12 education, devotes $11 billion to paying down state debt and saves $1.6 billion in a rainy day fund, has bipartisan support in the survey, with 75 percent of likely voters approving. Among Republicans, 66 percent approve.

The economy, education and the state budget dominated the concerns Californians want the governor and Legislature to address, but this month's survey added a new priority. Seven percent of Californians say water and the drought should be the top concern, a record high. That sentiment was highest in the Central Valley, where 18 percent of respondents listed the drought as the top issue. The poll surveyed 1,700 adults and 1,150 likely voters by telephone from Jan. 14-21. The margin of sampling error for likely voters is 4.6 percent.

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