Legislative Survey Results

Here are the results from the 2013 Georgia Legislative Session Survey. 303 people responded to the survey here at Peach Pundit. If you want to compare these results to the survey taken by my constituents, click here. To be sure this is not a scientific survey, but this does reflect the opinions of those who responded. I want to thank all of those who took the time to respond. Here are the questions and the results:

1. Generally speaking, do you usually think of yourself as a Republican, a Democrat, a Libertarian, an Independent, or something else? Why I asked this question: I was interested to know the political leanings of readers of this website. Republican: 46.0% Independent: 21.9% Libertarian: 14.6% Democrat: 12.9% Something Else: 4.6%

5. Considering how things are today, would you say that Georgia is generally headed in the right direction, or is it off on the wrong track? Why I asked this question: I think this is an important question to gauge how people think we’re doing in a general way. Right Track: 36.4% Wrong Track: 48.1% Unsure: 15.5% Comments:

- I am pleased with Nathan Deal’s efforts in education and prison reform, but I still believe the Gold Dome is home to one of the most corrupt bodies of good ol boy cronies in the nation. We have so much potential and we’re squandering it.

- Can’t complain much – except about the Deal cronyism (“incestous nepotism” someone called it recently in a television interview – now that’s some powerful stuff) and the lack of transportation planning. Love the way Republicans shift gears when tax dollars are involved (e.g., crminal justice reform – let’s lock ‘em up and throw away the key until it costs too much). Entertaining to watch – and amazing how the public accepts it.

6. Thinking about the State of Georgia, what do you think are the most important issues facing the State? Please rank in order of importance with 1 being most important and 11 being least important. – The smaller the number, the higher people ranked that issue. Thus, Economy/Jobs is considered the most important issue by the majority of those taking the survey. Why I asked this question: There is always a lot of noise about what issues are “most important.” Interest groups have their agendas and media covers stories they find interesting but what do the folks out there in the real world think is most important?

7. Should the State of Georgia raise the debt cap for the Georgia World Congress Center Authority to facilitate building a new stadium for the Atlanta Falcons? Why I asked this question: I figured the answer would be a strong no, but you never know until you ask. Yes: 18.8% No: 73.5% Unsure: 7.7% Comments:

- The State would be foolish not to let hotel guests and private enterprise build it an open air, retractable roof stadium for them to use to enhance events in the Capital city

- It is time to stop talking about fiscal integrity and begin to practice it. The Chicago Bears play in Soldier’s Field which has been around since the fire. What is so bad about the Georgia Dome?

8. Would you support a revenue neutral tax reform plan that reduced or replaced income taxes with sales taxes even if it meant taxing food or services currently not taxed? Why I asked this question: I’m a proponent of tax reform, specifically a “Fair Tax” style reform. I’m pleased with this result and hope we can work toward that type of tax system here in Georgia. Yes: 55.9% No: 32.8% Unsure: 11.3%

- I absolutely oppose regressive taxes that burden the poor unjustly in favor of those of us who have the luxury and means to save for things like our retirements and our childrens’ college educations. Georgia already has one of the most regressive tax policies in the country. Please fix that!

- Yes, if a 2/3 majority in both houses is required to increase the tax. otherwise, Hell no.

9. Would you support increased law enforcement presence on school grounds to protect students? Why I asked this question: Since the NRA tossed this idea out there, I thought it would be interesting to see what folks thought about it. Yes: 52.7% No: 35.2% Unsure: 12.1% Comments:

- As well, I would support removing the gun free zone ban for anyone who holds a Georgia Weapons Carry License – teacher, parent, or otherwise.

- Armed guards roaming the hallways of my child’s classroom doesn’t sound like liberty and freedom to me.

10. Georgia Legislators are paid an annual salary of $17,342, which has not been increased in 15 yrs. Should this salary be increased to attract and retain better qualified candidates and elected officials? Why I asked this question: A serious concern I have is the composition of the Legislature. I think it’s best when we have Legislators from all walks of life serving. I fear that with a stagnant economy we lose folks who would like to serve. I also am concerned that as we debate ethics reform we raise barriers to service. If ethics reform raises the cost of serving – especially for rural Legislators – we will end up with a Legislature composed of mainly wealthy people. That would not be good for Georgia. Yes: 39.9% No: 49.7% Unsure: 10.4% Comments:

- Only raise to $25,000 yearly. Make distance living from the capital a factor when calculating per diem. Members living further away usually have the most expense and sacrifice to endure.

- Most are not worth what they are getting now.I would support a pay-cut down to 15k