Legislative survey results show few surprises
Rep. Dean Simpson R-NY Mills Earlier in the session I inserted a legislative survey in this newspaper which asked for your input on certain topics that were likely to be debated at the Capitol this year. I was pleased with the response, and I kne...
Earlier in the session I inserted a legislative survey in this newspaper which asked for your input on certain topics that were likely to be debated at the Capitol this year. I was pleased with the response, and I knew you would be interested in the results.
About 72 percent of those surveyed said any future budget surplus should be used for tax relief, while 17 percent said it should be used for additional government spending and 11 percent said it should be used for something else.
Approximately 82 percent of you said you would support an effort to use a portion of the states budget surplus to give property tax relief to Minnesota residents. About 18 percent of you said no.
About half support gifted student programs in public schools
Residents were evenly split about spending more state education dollars for gifted student programs and college-level course programs in high schools. About 52 percent said yes and 48 percent said no.
When asked if the state should spend $6,000 per person per year for GPS bracelets that tell us the exact location for each Level III sex offender who gets out of prison or mental hospital, 54 percent of you said yes. About 46 percent of you said no.
A strong 83 percent of those surveyed said they would likely vote yes on a constitutional amendment in the 2006 general election to dedicate all funds from the Motor Vehicle Sales Tax (MVST) to transportation purposes. The highest percentage 93 percent of those surveyed said they support changing the proposed MVST constitutional amendment to ensure that a portion of that revenue is guaranteed for roads.
Gas tax hike opposed
Approximately 82 percent said they do not support raising the states gas tax to generate more money for transportation programs. Almost two-thirds of those surveyed (72 percent) said they would not approve a water fee on households and businesses to fund a proposed $80 million cleanup program of the states surface water. About 28 percent said they would approve the fee to improve the states surface water quality.
Respondents were evenly split (50-50) about supporting a constitutional amendment that would set aside a portion of state tax revenue to be spent on environment, conservation and habitat programs.
Just more than half of respondents (52 percent) said they support providing tax credits to farmers to expand and grow the states dairy industry, and nearly 92 percent of you said you support laws that would limit the power of state and local governments have to seize private property for public use (eminent domain).
Survey shows unclear majority on smoking prohibition
Finally, residents were divided about the idea of a statewide smoking ban. About 34 percent said they would support a ban in bars and restaurants; about 32 percent said they would support a ban in restaurants only; about 21 percent said they do not support a statewide ban; and 13 percent said tobacco should be made illegal.
Its not surprising that three of the highest percentages received were for questions that addressed transportation issues. I will continue to address transportation needs throughout District 10B.
As your state representative, it is important for me to know where you stand so that I can weigh and articulate your beliefs as I represent you at the State Capitol. One of the best ways to gauge how the public feels on these topics is by completing my session survey. I will continue to review any additional surveys that you send in. Thanks to all who took the time to make their voices heard.
Simpson (R-New York Mills) represents District 10B in the Minnesota House of Representatives, and can be reached at 1-800-914-3172 or at firstname.lastname@example.org .