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Poll shows Kansans support controversial legislative proposals

By   /   January 31, 2013  /   No Comments

ONWARD AND UPWARD: A new poll, commissioned by the Kansas Policy Institute, reveals Kansans support a number of issues which have drawn fire in the state legislature in the opening weeks of the session this year.

By Travis Perry │ Kansas Watchdog

OSAWATOMIE — A new statewide poll commissioned by the Wichita-based Kansas Policy Institute shows Kansans have strong support for a number of measures which have proven controversial in the state legislature.

According to a KPI news release, the poll — conducted by SurveyUSA — reveals that Kansans are in favor of legislative measures that would tie education spending to cost effective benchmarks; clarifying the role of the judicial branch in terms of state spending; and implementing more strict controls on the ability of unions to deduct political contributions from member paychecks.

  • When asked whether cost-effectiveness should be the basis for school funding decisions, 74 percent agreed and only 23 percent disagreed.  Responses were very consistent across political and ideological lines.
  • A strong majority, 59 percent, agreed that “if the Kansas Legislature is not basing school funding decisions on what it costs to hit required achievement levels and also have schools operating in a cost-effective manner, should the Legislature conduct such a study and fund schools accordingly?” Only 19 percent of those polled disagreed.
  • Kansans believe that courts should not have final say on how much money is spent on public education (54 percent vs. 44 percent) and courts should not have final say on the specific way that money is spent on education (56 percent vs. 40 percent).  However, 54 percent of Kansans believe it is “…in citizens’ best interests to have judges recommended for appointment to the Kansas Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals by a majority-attorney panel” while 39 percent disagree.
  • With regard to union paycheck deductions, the release stated that according to poll figures, “even self-identified government employees and union members say current practice should change.” Specific approval percentages were not associated with this question.

Surveyors spoke to 500 Kansans between Jan. 24-27, and has a 4.5 percent margin of error.

Contact Travis Perry at travis@kansaswatchdog.org, or follow him on Twitter at @muckraker62.

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Travis Perry is an investigative reporter covering news and politics for Watchdog.org's Kansas bureau. Before joining the organization, Travis graduated cum laude from Washburn University and cut his teeth as news editor for the Osawatomie Graphic, where he received numerous awards from the Kansas Press Association.