Michiganders Want State Lawmakers to Act on Threats of COVID Crisis
Strong support for progressive solutions to help working families and ensure the safety and security of elections
A recent poll commissioned by the State Innovation Exchange (SiX) shows Michigan voters hold deep concerns over the risk that COVID-19 poses to their health and the impact on the economy. The poll showed that Michiganders believe that the government should play a constructive role in people’s economic lives.
The Role of Government in Issues Facing Michigan
When asked if the state government should play a role in some of the issues facing working families, voters overwhelmingly supported government engagement in:
- Safely and fairly administering elections (87%);
- Ensuring equal access to high-quality K-12 education (84%);
- Stopping the spread of the coronavirus (85%);
- Ensuring struggling families and children have access to food (83%);
- Equal pay for equal work (77%); and
- Acknowledging and addressing systemic racism (69%).
Voters Overwhelmingly Support Steps to Ensure Safe and Accessible Elections
Michigan voters overwhelmingly believe that the state government has a role to play in safely and fairly administering elections (87%). The majority of Michiganders report that they will vote by mail in the November election (60%). However one-in-three believe that they will go to the polls (34%).
Voters overwhelmingly supported policies to ensure the election is safe and accessible:
- Allow any registered Michigan voter to vote by mail (80%);
- Lengthen the window for early voting and allow voters to cast ballots in person up through the day before Election Day (75%);
- Mail all registered voters applications to vote-by-mail (72%); and
- Allow elections officials to begin processing mail-in ballots before Election Day (69%).
Voters Concerned about COVID Impact and Strongly Support Progressive Economic Policies
By a three-to-one margin, voters believe Michigan state government should invest more in its residents to ensure they are safe, healthy, and economically secure (58%) rather than state government keeping taxes low and cutting funds to key services like education, unemployment, and health insurance (18%).
As for how legislators should address the potential budget shortfalls due to COVID, respondents overwhelmingly favored closing corporate tax loopholes (90%) and increasing taxes and financial penalties on companies that pollute Michigan’s air and water (88%). There is also strong support–77%–for increasing taxes on the wealthiest individuals in Michigan.
Eight-in-ten voters are concerned about people in Michigan losing work and income due to the coronavirus outbreak. Michiganders are equally concerned about small businesses and restaurants closing down permanently in Michigan (81%).
A majority of voters also support measures that would benefit those returning to work and those who remain unemployed, including requiring businesses to provide safe working conditions and penalties if workers get sick (56%) and extending the length of time that laid-off workers can receive unemployment compensation and increasing the amount they receive (55%).
Given the current crisis, Michiganders support policies that will address the economic hardships being faced by many and make life easier for working families:
- Providing low-interest loans to small businesses to help them make it through the crisis (91%);
- Limiting what drug companies can charge for prescription drugs (88%);
- Offering people in Michigan the option to buy into the same public health insurance plans that are available to state employees if they want to (87%);
- Creating an insurance plan to provide paid family and medical leave for employees (81%); and
- Requiring workplaces to provide paid sick days to their employees (80%).
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