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State Fair poll participants support combo of spending cuts and revenue hikes

Betsy Sundquist//September 7, 2010

State Fair poll participants support combo of spending cuts and revenue hikes

Betsy Sundquist//September 7, 2010

Minnesota State Fair
Minnesota State Fair

Half of those who took part in a strictly unscientific poll at the 2010 Minnesota State Fair believe that a combination of spending reductions and revenue increases would be the best plan to solve the state’s projected $5 billion state budget deficit.

Of the 9,926 fairgoers who took part in the annual poll, conducted by the nonpartisan Minnesota House Public Information Services, 50.1 percent said they liked the combination idea; 32.2 percent preferred only spending cuts, and 14.4 percent said increasing state revenues would solve the budget crunch.

Last year, 47.5 percent of fairgoers who took the 2009 poll supported cuts to balance the budget, and 44 percent supported tax increases. In 2008, 46.5 wanted to see budget cuts and 43 percent wanted tax increases. (Polltakers were not given the option of selecting a combination of budget cuts and revenue increases in either 2008 or 2009.)

Among the other findings in this year’s poll:

  • More than 52 percent of polltakers said expanded gambling would be a good idea to generate additional state revenue; slightly more than 38 percent were against the plan.
  • Almost two-thirds of participants said they didn’t want to see public money used to help pay for a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings, whose lease at the Metrodome expires after the 2011 season. Only 24.5 percent supported public funding.
  • 62.2 percent of polltakers said an alternative teacher licensure pathway should be created, allowing candidates to receive limited teaching licenses if they have at least a bachelor’s degree, can pass basic skills tests and complete at least 200 hours of instruction.
  • 73.4 percent said the Legislature should take steps to limit tuition and fee increases at public colleges and universities.
  • 72.4 percent said Minnesota school boards should not be able to extend operating levies without voter approval.
  • 85.2 percent said background checks should be performed before someone can purchase a firearm at a gun show in Minnesota.
  • 71.1 percent believe that juveniles should be allowed to have low-level, non-violent crimes cleared from their records if they meet certain conditions.
  • 69.1 percent said Minnesota voters should be required to show photo identification before receiving a ballot.
  • 68.2 percent believe that Minnesota liquor stores and automobile dealers should be allowed to open on Sundays.
  • 80.3 percent said tax breaks or other financial assistance should be provided to encourage small-business growth in the state.
  • 60 percent support lifting Minnesota’s moratorium on nuclear power plant construction.
  • Slightly more than half of respondents — 51.2 percent — said smoking should be prohibited in a motor vehicle in Minnesota if minors are present.

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