Here is how you answered my 26 survey questions

Joe Leibham  9th Senatorial District

Over the past number of months, I solicited input from you via my 2013 Fall Legislative Survey. Following is an overview of the results. In future weeks, I will highlight legislative action on several of these issues.

The survey asked respondents if they supported, opposed or are undecided on the following issue questions:

1. As Wisconsin continues to experience tax revenue surpluses, would you support the following? (Mark all that apply):

Tax Reduction ........................ 34%
Spending Increases .................. 9%
Build-up the state's
rainy day fund ........................ 23%
Responsible combination of
all of the above ....................... 34%

2. Expanding the amount of retirement plan income that is exempt from state taxation. Under current law, the first $5000 of an individual’s retirement income is exempt from taxation if the individual is 65 years or older and is below a certain income threshold. Proposed legislation would remove the age and income requirements and expand the amount of retirement income exempt from taxation.

Support 74%
Oppose 14%
Undecided 12%

3. Providing teachers with a state income tax deduction equal to the amount of their own money that they spend on school supplies. Currently, teachers only have the opportunity to use a federal income tax deduction of up to $250.

Support 67%
Oppose 23%
Undecided 9%

4. Allowing individual school districts to choose when they will begin instruction each fall, as long as the school district meets the minimum requirement for number of school days. Current law restricts the ability for Wisconsin public schools to commence classes prior to September 1st.

Support 68%
Oppose 24%
Undecided 8%

5. Giving Veterans who are students in the UW System or at a state Technical College priority status when registering for classes. The current class registration process in the UW System does not distinguish between Veterans and non-Veterans.

Support 61%
Oppose 25%
Undecided 14%

6. Giving the Department of Justice (DOJ) original jurisdiction to prosecute fraud in public assistance programs. Currently, District Attorneys have to ask the Attorney General for assistance before the DOJ can get involved.

Support 76%
Oppose 10%
Undecided 13%

7. Amending the current FoodShare (food stamp) program to clarify that an individual’s Food Share benefits must be spent on healthy food. Under the current FoodShare program, benefits cannot be spent on tobacco, alcohol, nonfood items (grooming materials or cosmetics) or in-store hot meals, but can be used on most other food and beverage items.

Support 70%
Oppose 21%
Undecided 9%

8. Providing a tax credit for employers who offer workplace wellness programs. A proposed bill offers a credit equal to 30% of an employer’s expenditures on workplace wellness programs. Wisconsin does not currently offer a tax credit to employers for offer a wellness program to employees.

Support 63%
Oppose 24%
Undecided 13%

9. Legalizing the sale of raw (unpasteurized) milk, as long as certain health and safety requirements are met. [Proposed requirements for the milk include: providing a clean and properly labeled container, complying with the DATCP rules for grade A milk concerning appearance and odor, bacterial count, drug residues, somatic cell count (a measure of milk quality), and pesticides and toxic substances, and following DATCP rules concerning the water supply for dairy operations.] Current law does not permit the sale of raw milk.

Support 62%
Oppose 22%
Undecided 15%

10. Legalizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes and requiring a prescription from a doctor. Currently, it is illegal to use marijuana in Wisconsin, regardless of health circumstances.

Support 45%
Oppose 43%
Undecided 12%

11. Eliminating the ability to register to vote on Election Day. Current law permits eligible voters to register to vote on the day of an election at their polling location.

Support 49%
Oppose 47%
Undecided 5%

12. Raising the number of valid signatures needed on a recall petition in order to trigger a recall election. Current law sets the threshold at 25% of the total votes cast for Governor in the previous election within the specific legislative district.

Support 53%
Oppose 35%
Undecided 12%

13. Allowing eligible residents to register to vote online via the Government Accountability Board website. Currently, eligible voters must register to vote by mail or in-person.

Support 38%
Oppose 52%
Undecided 10%

14. Creating consistent statewide times when in-person absentee ballots can be cast (“early voting”). Currently, in-person applications for absentee ballots can be cast at any time a local clerk has office hours between the third Monday preceding the election and ending 5 p.m. on the Friday preceding the election.

Support 62%
Oppose 25%
Undecided 13%

15. Eliminating the offices of Treasurer and Secretary of State from the Wisconsin Constitution. Over the years, the responsibilities for each of these offices have been assigned to other agencies in an effort to make state government more efficient. The authors of this bill estimate eliminating these two offices would save taxpayers $2 mil annually.

Support 74%
Oppose 13%
Undecided 13%

16. Increasing the government mandated minimum wage to $7.60 and indexing future increases to rate of inflation. Current minimum wage is $7.25.

Support 56%
Oppose 34%
Undecided 10%

17. Making the ‘Do Not Call Registry’ permanent. The bill also covers automated calls, including automated calls that have a political purpose. Under this proposal, one could sign-up for the ‘Do Not Call Registry’ and be exempt from receiving political ‘robocalls’. Current law requires re-subscription to the ‘Do Not Call Registry’ every two years. In addition, automated calls with political content are currently not prohibited.

Support 97%
Oppose 2%
Undecided 1%

18. Repealing the current $.75 monthly police and fire protection fee on telephone bills. The fee is supposed to fund county 911 dispatch equipment. However, the money was rerouted in Gov. Doyle’s 09-11 Biennial Budget and is currently directed to a general fund.

Support 88%
Oppose 6%
Undecided 6%

19. Giving local units of government greater authority to control the siting of wind energy systems. Currently, there is a statewide standard that governs the siting of wind energy systems.

Support 62%
Oppose 24%
Undecided 15%

20. Creating a crossbow license and allowing a new crossbow season to run concurrent to the archery season. Under current law, the Department of Natural Resources only grants crossbow licenses to individuals over 65 years old or those with a qualifying disability.

Support 49%
Oppose 25%
Undecided 26%

21. Revising the snowmobile registration process. A proposal calls for one-time registration process along with a $35 annual trail pass ($20 of which can be credited towards a Snowmobile club membership fee). Presently, snowmobile trails are voluntarily maintained by clubs and this bill would provide additional money from users to keep trails in good condition.

Support 60%
Oppose 17%
Undecided 23%

22. Allowing an individual to show an electronic version of a Wisconsin hunting, fishing, other gaming license, or requisite safety certificate if he or she is asked to show it and is not carrying the physical copy. Current law requires an individual to present a physical copy of any of these forms if asked by a law enforcement officer.

Support 61%
Oppose 28%
Undecided 11%

23. Creating a formal committee to recruit and host large scale sporting and tourism events in Wisconsin. Currently, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism offers some grants to organizations that hold large conventions in the state, but some say that a formalized process for recruiting large scale sporting events to take place in Wisconsin could be helpful.

Support 42%
Oppose 31%
Undecided 27%

24. Allowing an employer to fire or not hire an individual based on his or her felony conviction record. Current law only allows an employer to consider a felony record of an applicant if the conviction substantially relates to the job for which he or she is applying.

Support 53%
Oppose 32%
Undecided 15%

25. Providing a civil penalty against doctors who knowingly perform a sex-selective abortion. The proposal defines a sex-selective abortion as an abortion that is performed on the basis of preferring one gender of a child over another. Current law does not penalize doctors who perform sex-selective abortions.

Support 72%
Oppose 19%
Undecided 9%

26. Which of the following
options is the best way to reduce
Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)
occurrences? (Mark all that apply.)
Increase penalties on repeat
offenders ................................. 20%
Make 3rd offense OWI
a felony ................................... 18%
Increase penalties on first time
offenders with high blood alcohol
content (BAC) ........................ 12%
Mandatory ignition interlock for
certain offenders..................... 17%
Seize vehicle after multiple
offenses................................... 17%
Allow law enforcement
agencies to conduct sobriety
checkpoints ............................ 10%
Do Nothing............................... 1%
Other ......................................... 4%

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