Poll: Legislators get an "F", Paterson a "D" on state budget

ALBANY, NY – A new poll from the Siena College Research Institute flunks state legislators over their handling of the state budget.

Siena's poll found that three-quarters of those polled gave the Legislature either a "D" or an "F", with nearly half grading the Legislature at "F". Gov. Paterson fares better, with 51% giving him either "D" or "F". 20% graded his budget performance as meriting either an "A" or "B".

"Flunked em flat out," Siena pollster Steven Greenberg said of the grades given to legislators.

"I am really curious as to watch what the voters of this state do in terms of the Novemebr election. Are they going to send these Legislators, who they just gave a failing grade to, are they going to send them back to Albany," Greenberg said.

Those polled gave Paterson barely passing grades on the budget - a C-minus, Greenberg said - but the higher grades did not translate into an improvement in his overall level of popularity. Paterson's approval rating did not change from the last time Siena asked about it, back in April.

The poll also found that people supported Paterson's vetoes of pork barrel spending for legislators, but disagree sharply with his cuts to education aid.