FAIRFIELD: A new survey reports what most Connecticut residents feel about the state of the state.
Sacred Heart University’s Institute for Public Policy poll reports that, “residents were looking for a resolution to the state’s fiscal crisis, the bipartisan budget the state legislature passed last October did little to alleviate their concerns. And cuts to education funding further exacerbated concerns about future growth.”
The statewide public policy poll was conducted in early January, and also covered quality-of-life issues, the high cost of energy and taxes and the state’s general direction.
“A large majority was dissatisfied with the legislature’s budget agreement and felt it didn’t address key issues, such as funding for K-12 public education, infrastructure and pensions. Nor did it improve residents’ overall outlook on Connecticut, with 66.8 percent pessimistic about the state’s future,” said Professor Lesley DeNardis, executive director of the Institute for Public Policy.
More than a third [34.3%] of Nutmeggers said their quality of life was decreasing and, more than three-fifths said “maintaining their standard of life was difficult.”
None need be surprised by leading concerns of residents “the high cost of living, taxes and energy costs.” Three fourths of respondents [75.4%] worry about rising energy costs, with a 13 % increase since this past October.
Whether the new tax law pads wallets or not, Connecticut residents were particularly unhappy about the cap state and local tax deductions on federal income at $10,000, , with more than 40 percent “strongly” opposing the measure.
Those polled were divided about the notion of nonprofits and community organizations providing some public services as potential cost-saving measures.
Increases in the cigarette tax, and a new tax on online fantasy sports, were popular but Uber drivers will be happy to learn that more than half of residents [52.8%] oppose taxes on ride-sharing.
Additionally, 78% of respondents believe the state should support institutions of higher learning in Connecticut (private and public colleges and universities), as a way to foster economic development and innovation.
Almost half opposed the “significant budget cuts levied at University of Connecticut, feeling the cuts will have a negative impact on the state’s ability to attract, educate and retain the viable workforce needed for future employment.
Finally, although many Connecticut residents continue to have serious concerns about the state’s overall direction, those high-earners who would contemplate moving to a different state within the next five years dropped from 49% in October to 33% in January. Party affiliation played a role in residents considering leaving the state, with 43.8% of Republican respondents indicating willingness, compared to 33.1% of Democrats.