SACRAMENTO (CBS / AP) — A new poll finds that Californians are more optimistic about the future of the state than at any time since before the recession.

The Public Policy Institute of California survey released Wednesday also finds that Californians are giving high marks to Gov. Jerry Brown’s budgeting approach after voters approved higher taxes in November to help balance the state budget.

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Brown’s job approval rating reached a record high 51 percent.

The poll also found broad support for increased gun control and changes to current immigration laws that would allow a path to citizenship. A majority now support the federal health care overhaul that already is under way in California.

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Although half of adults say the state is headed in the right direction, 40 percent of those surveyed said they are expecting bad economic times in the year ahead.

The institute interviewed 1,704 California adults by landline and cellphone from January 15-22. The poll has a sampling error rate of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for all adults.

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