Survey
The following questions were sent to State Senators by statewide Media prior to the Legislative Session. I thank you for taking a few moments to fill out this survey.
  1. Please list your top three issues for the 2007 session:


  2. The Legislature will potentially have $200 million more than projected in tax revenue to work with as it crafts a new two-year state budget. What should be done with the money?
    Sales Tax Relief
    Income Tax Relief
    Send it to local governments and schoold to help reduce property taxes
    Save it
    Other


  3. One alternative to reducing taxes would be to add to the state's Cash Reserve Fund. Current estimates are that the Cash Reserve Fund will grow to more than $500 million during the next two years. Is $500 million:
    Too Much
    Too Little
    What amount would you support?

  4. Voters recently rejected a lid to cap state spending. Would you favor the state switching to a zero-based budgeting system, under which each agency would have to justify its new budget from the ground up each budget cycle instead of asking for an increase in its previous appropriation?
    Yes
    No
    Unsure
    What size of budget increase would you be willing to live with?

  5. Nebraska ranked last in the country in economic growth in 2004. Should the state make more tax incentives available to businesses to create jobs?
    Yes
    No
    Unsure

  6. The Legislature passed a law to put all Douglas County and Sarpy County school districts together in a new structure called a learning community and to break up the Omaha Public Schools into three new districts.
    Do you think the law can solve the problems facing metro-area schools?
    Yes
    No
    Unsure

    Should the learning community portion of the law be repealed?
    Yes
    No
    Unsure

    Should the OPS breakup portion of the law be repealed?
    Yes
    No
    Unsure

    Would the plan to break up OPS result in segregation?
    Yes
    No
    Unsure

  7. Voters recently repealed the law passed last session that called for the state's elementary-only, or Class I, schools to merge with larger districts. Gov. Heineman has said the Legislature should take action to help reorganize the districts. Do you agree?
    Yes
    No
    Unsure

  8. To comply with water-supply agreements, such as the one with Kansas, meet obligations of the Platte River Cooperative Agreement and deal with water shortages, farmers may have to take some irrigated acres out of production. Statewide water management plans could cost more than $100 million by 2020. Where should the money come from?
    Fees to irrigators on a per-acre basis
    Fees on municipal water service on a per-capita basis
    Sales tax
    If Other - Give Example
  9. Undocumented immigrants cannot get driver's licenses in Nebraska and therefore cannot get insurance.

    Should the state create a driver's certificate for undocumented immigrants?
    Yes
    No
    Unsure

  10. Should public entities, such as public utilities and municipalities, be prohibited from offering broadband service?
    Yes
    No
    Unsure

  11. Should Nebraska increase aid to community colleges?
    Yes
    No
    Unsure

  12. State Medicaid spending has increased at a rate of 10 percent a year in recent years.
    How would you control Medicaid spending?


  13. The state's Health and Human Services System was created 10 years ago by merging five state agencies.
    Should the system be broken up into separate agencies?
    Yes
    No
    Unsure

  14. Should Nebraska raise its minimum wage from the current $5.15 an hour?
    Yes
    No
    Unsure

  15. A new tough-on-meth law could more than double the rate of growth of Nebraska's prison population, requiring $384 million in new or expanded prison facilities by 2025. Should the state expand community corrections programs to keep more offenders out of prison to avoid this, or plan on building such a facility?
    More community-based programs
    Build or expand prison(s)
    Other

  16. Should the death penalty be repealed?
    Yes
    No
    Unsure

    Do you support changing Nebraska's method of execution from the electric chair to lethal injection?
    Yes
    No
    Unsure

  17. Would you support an effort to ask voters to repeal legislative term limits?
    Yes
    No
    Unsure

  18. States from California to Connecticut are putting money into research to find ways to heal the sick using stem cells obtained from killing human embryos. Do you think Nebraska should encourage such research at its tax-supported universities or ban it?
    Encourage It
    Ban It
    Unsure

  19. Would you support moving the State Fair to the Lancaster County Fair site to possibly help expand UNL research facilities?
    Yes
    No
    Unsure

    If you support moving the fair, to where would you like to see the Fair moved?
  20. Should there be a restriction on how soon after leaving office a former state senator can work as a lobbyist?
    Yes
    No
    Unsure

  21. With this year's initiative petition efforts marked by allegations of impropriety, intimidation between competing groups and even a federal lawsuit claiming some cities thwarted attempts to gather signatures, a legislative committee discussed during the interim whether the system needs fixing. Which of the following suggestions that were discussed would you support?
    Require circulators to be at least 17 years old
    Require circulators to be Nebraska residents
    Prohibit paying circulators by the signature but perhaps allowing them to be paid hourly
    Not Sure
    Other (give example):


  22. Should cities, counties and other public entities be given protection from liability for recreational activities such as skateboarding?
    Yes
    No
    Unsure

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"The salvation of the state is watchfulness in the citizen"
© 2007 Philip Erdman
All rights reserved.