|A few weeks ago, Senator Kevin Van Tassell and I distributed a legislative survey through inserts in local newspapers. In this week's column, I would like to report on the results of those surveys from my legislative district.
In all, I received 251 survey responses from the Duchesne County area and 253 from the Wasatch County area. This is an excellent response rate and I thank all those who took the time to fill out the surveys and mail them in. Here are the questions and the answers by percentage:
1. What do you believe the budget priorities should be for the 2011 legislative session?
Fix structural imbalance (stop funding on-going programs with one-time money): 72%.
Fund enrollment growth in education: 67%.
Replenish rainy day funds: 49%.
Fund growth in Medicaid costs: 36%.
Fund new programs: 5%.
2. The State maintains the highest bond rating available and is considered one of the best (if not the best) financially managed states in the nation. This requires challenging decisions for Utah lawmakers. How do you feel about the way tax dollars are managed in Utah?
I approve of the way tax dollars are spent in Utah: 41%.
I have no opinion of the way tax dollars are spent in Utah: 10%.
I disapprove of the way tax dollars are spent in Utah: 16%.
I would like to see taxes and services decreased: 30%.
I would like to see taxes and services increased: 10%.
3. Medicaid expenditures are growing at three times the rate of our state budget and are projected to grow from 18% to 36% of Utah's general fund by 2020. Legislators will address Medicaid reform this year to try to reign in Medicaid spending. Controlling Medicaid costs may require moving Medicaid enrollees to HMO/Managed Care healthcare plans. Would you support moving Medicaid to an HMO/Managed Care program?
4. What other types of Medicaid reform would you support?
Crack down on fraud: 89%.
Expand the Medicaid Preferred Drug List: 29%
Focus Medicaid spending on the needs of the mentally ill and disabled: 41%.
5. There are several proposed changes to the state’s alcohol polices. Please mark all the proposals you support:
Allow restaurants to sell their alcohol license when they sell their restaurants: 46%.
Reduce the number of Tavern licenses and increase the number of Restaurant licenses available: 24%.
Require more strict use of driver inter-lock devices after a DUI revocation or suspension: 65%.
Scan driver’s licenses to verify age at all establishments that sell alcohol except restaurants: 52%.
6. Would you support or oppose an enforcement-based immigration law in Utah that would require local law enforcement to check the legal status of those suspected of criminal activity?
7. Would you support or oppose accountability cards which would require undocumented immigrants to be subject to criminal background tests, learn English and carry a state-issued permit in order to legally live, work and pay taxes in Utah?
8. Current law permits in-state tuition discounts for undocumented immigrants. Do you believe this law should remain or be repealed?
9. Several proposals to be considered by the Legislature this year would give the State of Utah greater control over the use of land owned by the federal government. Do you support or oppose these proposals?
As always, please feel free to contact me to express your thoughts pertaining to the legislative session, which runs through March 10.
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and my phone number is 435-657-0185.
BY REPRESENTATIVE KRAIG POWELL