Sunday, December 30, 2007

Water, health care, education, taxes, transportation

The Georgia Chamber of Commerce has some polling out on the upcoming legislative session:
Nearly one-quarter of those surveyed list health care and water as the top issues “for the Governor and the Georgia General Assembly to deal with.” Right behind were education (almost 18%), property taxes (13%) and transportation (12.4 %). ...

Israel said the results of the poll, conducted by InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion Research, December 17-18, among 823 Georgians who are likely voters in the February 5 presidential primaries, with a margin of error of +/-4%, largely mirror the priorities of the Georgia Chamber’s Board of Directors.

No huge surprises there. It sounds like the speaker's push on property tax reform has really brought that issue to the forefront, but I could be off on that. Maybe folks were this fired up about it beforehand.

I do wonder - were they asked straight up what their top issues were, or were they given a list to choose from. I would like to think that a high percentage of likely Georgia voters could tag water as an important issue with no prompting. I would like to think that.
Republican respondents to the poll ranked water and property tax reform, in that order, as their top two concerns, with health care third, and transportation and education tied for fourth. Democrats surveyed gave a clear edge to health care (32.4% rated it their top issue for legislators’ attention) followed by water and education.

Interesting to see health care ahead of transportation for both parties. If you confined the poll to Atlanta, where most of the traffic is, I wonder if you'd see those trade places? And I wonder what the legislature will actually do about health care this year with water and tax reform already hot issues sure to generate headlines?

A not-so-secret secret: Reporters don't write too good about health care because it's super complicated (which is a problem in its own right) and because an awful lot of us don't have families and seldom see a doctor. The press, myself included, often fails you on this issue. It's hard for us to understand property taxes, too, because reporting jobs don't often pay well enough for reporters to own property and also support our heavy drinking habits. But I digress.
A separate, internal survey of members of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, in response to the question, “For your business, what issue do you believe is the most important issue that must be addressed during the 2008 legislative session?” shows water, education, and transportation reform and funding far and away as the most important priorities for the organization’s leadership.

The Georgia Chamber’s leadership responded that water management was their number one priority for the upcoming session (32 percent), followed by education/workforce development (19 percent) and transportation (15 percent).

Georgia’s business leaders are markedly more optimistic than voters in general when it comes to the future of the state. Georgians seem evenly split on the whether or not Georgia is “heading in the right direction or the wrong direction,” while members of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s Board overwhelmingly (90.5 percent) believe that “Georgia’s business climate is generally heading in the right direction.” When asked, “A year from now, do you think business conditions will be better, the same or worse,” 84% of the business leaders said better or the same.

Now, why does that last bit make me nervous?
The InsiderAdvantage/Georgia Chamber poll showed a picture of optimism among Republican voters while Democrats and Independents were more pessimistic, almost 70% of likely Democratic voters saying the state was heading the wrong direction and 62% of Independent voters.

There's also a bunch of stuff about the parking lots gun bill (Georgia agrees with the chamber, it's bad) and some stuff on the presidential elections. Huckabee gets it on the Republican side, Clinton and Obama for the Dems.) But I'm not going to post all of that. If I find the information on the Chamber's site or Insider Advantage tomorrow morning I'll link it.

UPDATE: The presidential poll. And the gun stuff.

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