State Fair survey results releasedThis year’s State Fair survey provided local legislators with an unscientific look at how citizens prefer to address top issues facing the state, particularly employment and the economy.
This year’s State Fair survey provided local legislators with an unscientific look at how citizens prefer to address top issues facing the state, particularly employment and the economy.
The Legislature expects to face a state budget deficit in the $5.8 billion range during the 2011 session, which begins in January.
State Representative Torrey Westrom, R-Elbow Lake, released the following results of the survey:
A 50.1-percent majority of survey respondents say some combination of spending reductions and revenue increases is the best way to resolve the projected shortfall; 32.2 percent prefer only spending reductions; and 14.4 percent indicate increased revenue is the answer.
Just over 52 percent of survey participants favor an expansion of gambling to provide additional state revenue. Approximately 38 percent oppose the idea.
An overwhelming 80.3 percent indicate tax breaks or other financial assistance should be provided to encourage small-business growth.
Representatives of www.mymn.org also asked fairgoers what they would do to improve the economy and here are snippets from responses featured on its website:
“The recipe for jobs in Minnesota and jobs across the entire country is to stop the backwards thinking that government jobs and incentives will bail us out of this mess.”
“How can a business person have any confidence to grow a business when they do not know what their costs will be, specifically taxes from our state and our federal government.”
Below is a rundown of positions participants took on the remaining State Fair survey questions. (Note: These are summarized versions of the actual survey questions, different from the way they were presented at the fair. The survey is an annual nonpartisan project conducted by House Public Information Services. Nearly 10,000 people participated. Complete results are at www.house.mn.)
•The Legislature should take steps to limit tuition and fee increases at public colleges and universities (73.4 percent).
•An alternative teacher licensure pathway should be created (62.2 percent).
•School boards should not be able to extend operating levies without voter approval (72.4 percent).
•Do not use public dollars to help pay for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium (66.4 percent).
•A background check should be performed before someone can purchase a firearm at a gun show (85.2 percent).
•A juvenile should be able to have a low-level, non-violent crime cleared from their record if they meet certain conditions (71.1 percent).
•Voters should be required to show photo identification (69.1 percent).
•Liquor stores open Sunday? One finding from the survey: 68.2 percent said liquor stores and automobile dealers should be permitted to open on Sundays.
•We should lift the state’s moratorium on nuclear power plant construction (80.3 percent).
•Smoking should be prohibited in a motor vehicle when a minor is present (51.2 percent).