April 23, 2014
Gallup is out with another survey asking what we Americans prefer when it comes to combating state fiscal problems. According to their survey, most of us (65%) respond favorably to cutting or eliminating state programs. Sixty-two percent responded favorably to cutting the number of state employees.
Without much support is borrowing money (30% favor) and raising taxes (32% favor).
Forty-nine percent of respondents favor changes in state collective bargaining laws as a way to trim budgets.
Although Gallup modified their questionnaire from a like survey in February, there is strong evidence that the number of people supporting cuts and program eliminations is on the rise. Another interesting point in the survey is that Democrats and Republicans agree more than they disagree on the proposed budget remedies surveyed. Majorities of respondents from both parties favor program and employee cuts, but they diverge on the union question with only 31% of Democrats supporting changes in state labor laws while 66% of Republicans favor limiting collective bargaining.
This report from the new progressive Ohio think-tank, Innovation Ohio, comes to the conclusion that destroying the right of public workers – teachers in particular – is a race to the bottom for students and the state’s economy. Instead, the report demonstrates, collective bargaining for teachers in Ohio has more often led to solutions for schools and students since teachers gained the right in Ohio nearly 30 years ago.
From my inbox via the Ohio Democratic Party:
Despite overwhelming public opposition, Senate Republicans are continuing their assault on Ohio’s middle class. This Tuesday, the State Senate is expected to hold a committee vote on Senate Bill 5. We need to flood the Statehouse and tell Senate Republicans to vote NO. We want to invite you to join thousands of like-minded Ohioans at the “Rally for Ohio’s Middle Class” this Tuesday at the Statehouse.
Here are the details for the rally:
Rally for Ohio’s Middle Class
Tuesday, March 1 at 10:00 a.m.
Ohio Statehouse – West Lawn
1 Capitol Square
Columbus, OH 43215
Source: NBC’s Meet the Press
Announcer: From NBC News in Washington, MEET THE PRESS with David Gregory.
MR. GREGORY: Good morning. Protests grew in Madison, Wisconsin, Saturday after days of demonstrations there by pro-labor supporters. The standoff started two weeks ago after Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker proposed a budget-balancing bill that would severely limit the rights of most public workers to collectively bargain. The bill would also require them to pay for 12.6 percent of the total cost of their healthcare premiums, and contribute almost 6 percent of their pay toward their pension benefits. Walker’s proposal is an attempt to close the $137 million deficit in this year’s state budget, a shortfall that is projected to grow to $3.6 billion in the next two years. And here with us now from Madison, the man in the middle of all this, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.
Governor, welcome to MEET THE PRESS.
GOV. WALKER: Good morning. Good to be with you, David.
MR. GREGORY: So that context is important because there’s collective bargaining, which you’d like to limit, and there are those–the specific contributions that you asked the unions. They said they would do that, they would meet those demands. So the question that comes up again and again is, if you want to deal with the budget and the deficit, why not take yes for an answer?