2015 Legislative Survey Results

1. Virginia continues to face budget constraints due to sequestration and federal tax increases. How do you believe the General Assembly should address such budgetary constraints?

                 

1

2

3

4

Raise general or statewide taxes (sales, income, gas, and/or personal property)

5.58%

5.58%

7.11%

81.73%

Increase specific fees to cover the actual cost of providing certain government services

18.23%

19.70%

31.53%

30.54%

Cut government spending

67.41%

16.96%

7.59%

8.04%

Streamline government programs and services

45.45%

40.00%

10.00%

4.55%

Eliminate or reduce tax credits and other tax preferences currently in the code

14.29%

22.17%

38.92%

24.63%

 

2. There have been discussions about reforming Virginia’s tax system to eliminate all or some tax credits, deductions, incentives and preferences. Which of the following best describes how you feel?
 

Answer

Percent

Virginia should eliminate all or most tax credits, deductions, incentives and preferences

13.19%

Virginia should eliminate some tax credits, deductions, incentives and preferences, depending on their effectiveness and value

68.94%

Virginia should not eliminate tax credits, deductions, incentives and preferences

17.87%

 

3. Virginia is a “right to work” state which means that no employee can be forced to join a union or pay union dues in order to get or keep a job. Do you support or oppose “right to work” laws?
 

Answer

Percent

Support

93.59%

Oppose

6.41%

 

4. Last year, the General Assembly adopted significant reforms to Virginia’s Standards of Learning (SOL) tests, reducing the number of SOL tests that students in grades 3-8 must take from 22 to 17 tests and creating a pathway for additional reforms that will promote problem-solving and critical thinking. Do you think the SOLs need additional reform?
 

Answer

Percent

Yes, students are still required to take too many tests

27.23%

Yes, the tests still encourage rote memorization, not enough problem solving or critical thinking

31.81%

Yes, teachers are still required to “teach to the test.”

31.33%

No, last year’s reforms will work for now

9.64%

 

5. High school students are required to take 12 SOL tests in order to graduate. Do you think the General Assembly should reduce the number of SOL tests for high school students, similar to the reduction applied to grades 3-8?
 

Answer

Percent

Yes

67.42%

No

32.58%

 

6. School choice refers to the idea that parents and children should have a variety of traditional and non-traditional educational options available to ensure that each student’s learning experience helps them meet their full potential. Which of the following school choice options do you support?
 

Answer

Percent

Full-time virtual schools

11.11%

Virtual classrooms, integrated into traditional school setting

25.93%

Home-schooling

29.82%

Charter schools

33.14%

 

7. Other states have adopted legislation creating “Parental Education Savings Accounts.” These optional accounts allow parents to use a portion of their child’s share of state funding for educational purposes, including tuition at a private or charter school, hire a tutor, enroll their child in online classes or save for college. Would you support or oppose the creation of Parental Education Savings Accounts in Virginia?
 

Answer

Percent

Support

75.44%

Oppose

24.56%

8. Do you support or oppose efforts to allow home-school children to participate in public school sports programs?
 

Answer

Percent

Support

77.25%

Oppose

22.75%

 

9. Of the following options, how do you think the General Assembly should address the rising cost of higher education?
 

Answer

Percent

Increase state funding for colleges and universities

4.26%

Limit or restrict student auxiliary and athletic fees

17.35%

Prioritize building construction projects

20.44%

Reform and prioritize financial aid distribution to serve more middle- and low- income students

13.97%

Encourage colleges and universities to offer “barebones” college degrees and charge just tuition, but not room, board or other fees

21.91%

Encourage colleges and universities to offer “three year” degree programs in certain fields

19.26%

Other

2.79%

 

10. A recent report indicated that mandatory fees account for over one-third of the cost of attendance at Virginia colleges and student fees accounted for, on average, 68 percent of college athletic program revenue. Would you support or oppose a state limit on the cost of student athletic fees?
 

Answer

Percent

Support

90.18%

Oppose

9.82%

 

11. Do you support or oppose mandatory reporting policies that require college administrators to report all allegations of rape and sexual assault to law enforcement, even if the victim chooses not to press charges?
 

Answer

Percent

Support

79.91%

Oppose

20.09%

 

12. Do you support or oppose Medicaid Expansion in Virginia? While expansion would enroll up to 400,000 currently uninsured Virginians in Medicaid, it could cost the Commonwealth of Virginia over $1 billion per year, forcing cuts to other key services like education, mental health and public safety.
 

Answer

Percent

Yes, Medicaid should be expanded in Virginia

12.61%

No, Medicaid should not be expanded in Virginia

87.39%

 

13. Do you support or oppose efforts to provide additional funding for Virginia’s healthcare safety net, such as free clinics and mobile health stations?
 

Answer

Percent

Support

56.41%

Oppose

43.59%

 

14. Last year, the General Assembly adopted a number of reforms to Virginia’s transparency, disclosure and ethics laws. Those reforms included (a) creating a $250 gift cap, (b) creating a statewide ethics advisory commission, (c) requiring more frequent disclosures, (d) requiring all disclosure forms be posted online, (e) requiring mandatory ethics training for elected officials. Which of the following do you believe?
 

Answer

Percent

These reforms did not go far enough

22.51%

These reforms were almost enough, but more work is necessary

25.54%

These reforms were enough

51.95%

 

15. Article V of the U.S. Constitution allows two-thirds of state legislatures to call a “Convention of the States” to amend the federal constitution. Some lawmakers have pushed a convention of the states to enact limits on federal authority and spending. Do you support or oppose a “Convention of the States?”
 

Answer

Percent

Support

79.82%

Oppose

20.18%

 

16. In response to recent events, Governor McAuliffe has indicated that he will support legislation to further regulate child care providers. His proposal would require all providers who receive public subsidies to be licensed and inspected. This would require a budget allocation to support the additional Social Services staff necessary to properly administer such a requirement.
 

Answer

Percent

Yes, I support the Governor’s proposal

39.91%

I support the Governor’s proposal but I do not believe it goes far enough

6.87%

No, I do not support additional regulation of child care providers

53.22%

 

17. Should all Virginia law enforcement officers be required to wear body cameras while on patrol?
 

Answer

Percent

Yes, law enforcement officers should wear body cameras

20.68%

Yes, but local governments should make that determination

42.19%

No

37.13%

 

18. Under Virginia law, law enforcement may seize property related to criminal activity, even if the owner is not convicted of a crime. Some have argued that Virginia should reform its asset forfeiture laws to make it more difficult for law enforcement to seize private property in order to protect the rights of citizens. Do you support or oppose efforts to reform Virginia’s asset forfeiture laws?
 

Answer

Percent

Support

82.28%

Oppose

17.72%

 

19. Should voters have the option to register by political party (Republican, Democrat, Independent, etc.)?
 

Answer

Percent

Yes

72.32%

No

27.68%

 

 

 

20. Please prioritize the following veterans’ issues in the order you think they should be addressed by the General Assembly.

 

 

1

2

3           41

4

Veterans' transition programs and employment opportunities

41.32%

26.45%

20.66%

11.57%

Veterans' healthcare

52.48%

19.01%

16.53%

11.98%

Veterans’ homelessness

29.34%

19.01%

14.46%

37.19%

Veterans’ education and job training

21.07%

28.51%

28.51%

21.90%

 

 
     
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