CALL TO ACTION
The first phase will create awareness and build consensus for collective action. You can:
Contact your Legislator:
Tell lawmakers to advocate for balanced solutions to our state budget crisis – not more games and gimmicks. Contact them TODAY!
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Standing together for “A Better Michigan Future”
More than 40 groups, including MEA, are committed to collectively advocating for balanced solutions to Michigan’s budget crisis, including both reform and revenue. Learn more about A Better Michigan Future.
New poll finds huge support for real government reforms – not more gimmicks
EPIC-MRA study shows voter support for government contract audits and loophole closures
Voters say they’d rather elect lawmakers who want to audit government contracts and close ineffective tax loopholes than legislators who want to use games and gimmicks to balance the budget on the backs of public school employees, according to a new poll.
Ninety-one percent of voters surveyed said they support auditing $16 billion worth of government contracts, and 72 percent support ending ineffective business tax breaks, according to a poll released April 19 by Lansing-based EPIC-MRA. The majority would be more likely to vote for legislators who voted to enact these proposals (77 and 56 percent, respectively).
There was far less support, however, for the so-called reforms actually being pushed by leaders in Lansing. Senate Majority Leader Bishop’s “reforms” saw stiff opposition: 58 percent opposed his mandatory 5 percent pay cut for public workers, while 54 percent were against his plan to force public employees to pay 20 percent of their health premiums.
Only 41 percent of voters favor Gov. Granholm’s retirement plan, while just 33 percent support House Speaker Andy Dillon’s mandatory public employee health plan.
In fact, the majority disagreed with the popular political rhetoric that school employees are paid too much and receive benefit packages that are too generous. Only 24 percent agreed that school employee benefits were too rich, while just 18 percent thought their pay was too high.
Voters saved their greatest ire for legislators who asked for wage and healthcare concessions of public workers while protecting their own benefits: 87 percent said they were less likely to vote for a legislator who cast such votes.
Voters placed a premium on preserving programs, especially public education. Sixty percent thought preserving programs (like education and public safety) was more important than tax cuts, while 61 percent thought the Legislature should look for ways to increase state tax revenue to restore funding for schools if Michigan’s economy doesn’t improve.
The poll was conducted for the A Better Michigan Future coalition (www.abettermichiganfuture.org). It surveyed 600 voters from April 5-11 – the margin of error was +/- 4 percent.
Some key questions from the survey:
Overall, does your local public school district have too much, too little, or about the right amount of funding it needs to provide a quality education? [IF TOO MUCH/TOO LITTLE, ASK: “Would that be much or somewhat?”]
4% Much too much funding
Thinking about the pay in salary and wages that teachers in Michigan currently receive, do you think teachers are paid too much, too little, or about the right amount? [IF TOO MUCH/TOO LITTLE, ASK: “Would that be much or somewhat?”]
Thinking about the health insurance benefits teachers receive, do you think teachers receive too much, too little, or about the right amount? [IF TOO MUCH/TOO LITTLE, ASK: “Would that be much or somewhat?”]
9% Much too much
Which is more important to you – having lawmakers control taxes, or having lawmakers preserve critical state and local programs, like education, public safety and job programs?
22% Controlling taxes
If Michigan’s economy does not improve in the next year or so, which means that there will be no additional state revenues that could be used to restore the state funding for education that was cut, do you think that the Governor and the Legislature should look for other ways to increase state tax revenue so that they can restore the state funding that was cut for schools, or, do you think they should accept the fact that funding cannot be restored for local public schools and budget cuts in education will continue to be required?
61% They should look for ways to increase state tax revenue to restore funding for schools
Updated: April 20, 2010 10:34 AM
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