RIC has a new poll on the budget

From Rhode Island College:

The survey was conducted between April 17-28, 2008 and sampled 400 randomly selected registered voters for a 4.5 percent margin of error. The sample was drawn reflecting voter contribution by geographic region in recent statewide elections.


Gov. Donald Carcieri submitted several cost cutting proposals, which the House of Representatives responded to last week. Designed to begin to address Rhode Island’s fiscal crisis, RIC’s latest survey tapped into public sentiment on proposals under consideration at the State House. In the face of the most serious fiscal predicament since the banking crisis of the early 1990s, Rhode Islanders favor welfare cuts and a merger of Rhode Island College and CCRI, but are lukewarm to other actions to close the budget gap.   


The survey showed Rhode Islanders support only three of the 10 budget cutting proposals tested in the survey. The study found:


• Overwhelming agreement to the governor’s proposal to reduce the maximum amount of time a family can remain on welfare.

• Major support for the elimination of the office of Lieutenant Governor, a proposal that has not been previously floated by government officials.

• Considerable agreement that Rhode Island College and CCRI should be merge to reduce expenses.


Respondents were divided nearly equally on two items:


• About one in two supported round-the-clock gambling in Newport and Lincoln, while an almost identical number opposed it.

• Nearly half opposed massive state employee layoffs, while a similar number favored them.


The sample was closely divided on three items:  


• Slightly more than half disagree with the proposal to release early well behaved, non sex-offender prisoners from the ACI, while four in 10 favor the proposal

• Just over half oppose privatization as a method for cutting the state workforce; about forty percent are in favor.

• About half are against RIte Care cuts, while one-third support them. 


Cuts in state aid to CCRI, RIC,and URI, or to cities and did not find favor with the electoral:

• More than eight out of 10 surveyed disagree with the proposal to cut $17.1 million from the budget of CCRI, RIC, and URI; only about one in 10 favored the idea

• Two in three opposed cuts in state aid to cities and towns for non education purposes 


“In this time of fiscal crisis for our state, it is critical that decision makers have information available from their bosses, the Rhode Island public,” said Victor Profughi, political scientist and director of the survey.

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