Zionsville Times Sentinel

December 11, 2013

Lawmaker, constituent priorities may differ

By Maureen Hayden
CNHI Indiana Statehouse Bureau

---- — INDIANAPOLIS - Every year at about this time, Statehouse reporters like me ask lawmakers what their priorities will be for the coming year. The more interesting inquiry is made by the people at Ball State University's Bowen Center for Public Affairs, because they ask Hoosiers what those lawmakers' priorities should be.

The results of the poll, called the Hoosier Survey, are delivered to every member of the General Assembly in early January, just as they're getting down to business. Whether those lawmakers pay attention to the results is up to them.

Some don't. A past criticism of the survey is that the Bowen Center asks for the opinions of Indiana residents whether they're registered to vote or not.

The Hoosier Survey results are both predictable and surprising. When asked what the General Assembly's top priorities in 2014 should be, almost 83 percent of people said bringing more jobs to the state. Improving local schools came next, followed by providing more affordable healthcare. Not on the list: the amendment to ban same-sex marriage, which is already proving to be bitterly divisive.

See Wednesday's Times Sentinel for the full story.