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EXCLUSIVE: Institute Director: Residents are “Very Knowledgeable,” Concerned With State’s Direction

October 25, 2017 By Staff
EXCLUSIVE: Institute Director: Residents are “Very Knowledgeable,” Concerned With State’s Direction

Reclaim Connecticut talked to the director of Sacred Heart's Institute for Public Policy, which recently completed a lengthy and substantive survey of Connecticut residents on public policy.

Connecticut residents have a high awareness of the problems plaguing the state, and they’re very concerned about the state’s direction.

Those were two of the big items Professor Lesley DeNardis, Ph.D., took from Sacred Heart University (SHU)’s first Institute of Public Policy poll of Connecticut residents.

The poll, which SHU plans to conduct quarterly, was substantive and offers both residents and policymakers a deep look into how residents feel about the state of the state.

MORE: 90% in CT Aware of Budget Crisis, 91% Concerned About High Taxes

Reclaim Connecticut talked to Professor DeNardis on Tuesday, and she shared some takeaways from SHU’s poll.

“VERY CONCERNED”

DeNardis’ top takeaway?

“Connecticut residents are very concerned about the overall trajectory of the state.”

“They’re concerned about the high cost of living, they’re very concerned about the overall tax burden,” DeNardis continued. “They are contemplating moving out of state, even among higher earners.”

“HEARTENING”

One of the few “heartening” results of the poll, according to DeNardis, was finding out how engaged Connecticut residents are on the issues.

“[It was] heartening to see the high degree of awareness in the state budget crisis,” DeNardis said.

“There was a high degree of correspondence between how people thought about these issues and the objective realities,” she continued, citing studies that show Connecticut residents have some of the highest tax burdens in the country.

“They’re very aware,” DeNardis said of Connecticut residents. And “very knowledgeable and savvy.”

WHAT’S NEXT?

Asked about what else SHU would like to poll Connecticut residents, DeNardis offered what may be a preview of future polls by the institute.

“A third of respondents would make reforms to the pension system,” DeNardis said, “so that may be a potential candidate for a poll topic in the future.”

The big question, though, is this: Connecticut residents have sent some clear messages to policymakers through this poll. What will policymakers do with that information?