The Bowen Center for Public Affairs at Ball State University and WISH-TV, Channel 8, in Indianapolis recently presented the fifth annual Hoosier Survey. The two partners design the nonpartisan survey to provide Indiana citizens and Indiana General Assembly with a measure of public views about issues likely to be considered in this legislative session.

Major findings in the 2012 Hoosier Survey include:

* Job creation continues to be the number one priority for Hoosier residents with 81 percent of respondents saying this item should be at the top of the legislative agenda. Other top priorities include improving schools (65 percent) and making health care more affordable (61 percent). Reducing illegal immigration dropped as a priority item by nearly nine percentage points from last year's survey.

* Most Hoosiers believe the quality of state services remained the same last year and 81.7 percent believe that Indiana is an excellent or good place to live.

* A majority of Hoosiers (64 percent) prefer investing state surpluses in creating jobs and improving education over cutting taxes further.

* Hoosiers express a relatively high degree of satisfaction (69 percent) with the quality of public education in the state. Satisfaction is particularly pronounced among those with children in the system (82 percent very or somewhat satisfied), rivaling the very high level of satisfaction expressed by those with children in private or charter schools. Hoosiers seek to increase parental involvement as the best way to improve the schools. Support for expanding school vouchers has dropped by six percentage points from last year.

* Creating financial incentives for students to complete college degrees in four years is the most preferred option (27.1 percent) of Hoosiers for keeping the cost of higher education affordable. Capping tuition increases and freezing tuition tied for second place with just over 19 percent support. Nearly 10 percent supported the consolidation of institutions to reduce administrative costs and duplication.

* Hoosiers are almost evenly divided on their opinion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) but there is overwhelming support for some of its provisions including prohibition against discrimination based on pre-existing conditions. A majority (50 percent) favor a partnership between the federal and state government in creating the newly required health insurance exchanges.

* Hoosiers overwhelmingly support the legality of abortion in cases of rape or incest (75 percent) and when the mother's life (83 percent) or health (76 percent) is in danger.

* Hoosiers are evenly divided (45 percent) on whether same sex couples should be allowed to marry while a majority (55 percent) supports civil unions. Fifty-four percent oppose a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage in Indiana.

* A majority of Hoosiers (53 percent) supports the decriminalization of the possession of small amounts of marijuana"

The survey was conducted for WISH TV and the Bowen Center for Public Affairs by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI) from November 12-24, 2012. PSRAI surveyed Hoosier adults by landline and cell phone, chosen randomly, yielding a margin of sampling error of +/- 4.5 percent.

For further information about the Bowen Center and the Hoosier Survey, contact: Dr. Raymond H. Scheele, Co-Director of The Bowen Center for Public Affairs at (765) 285-8982 or via email at rscheele@bsu.edu.



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