Policy survey: confidence in Michigan?s direction declines among local leaders

The University of Michigan's Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) Michigan Public Policy Survey (MPPS), a biannual survey of Michigan's local government leaders. has published a report which presents the opinions of Michigan local government leaders on the direction in which the state is headed, as well as their evaluations of the job performance of Governor Rick Snyder and the Michigan Legislature.

In the Spring 2015 MPPS, CLOSUP surveyed local government leaders from 1,328 Michigan jurisdictions (counties, cities, townships, and villages). Statewide, fewer than half (46%) of local leaders believe the state is currently headed in the right direction, down sharply from the 55% who felt this way in 2014. This drop in optimism about the state¹s direction is found among officials across all political parties, with the largest drop among self-identified Republican officials.

The report's key findings are summarized below, and the full report is available on the CLOSUP homepage: http://closup.umich.edu.

The key findings are:

Among Michigan local officials, 38% believe the state is off on the wrong track, up from 32% who said the same one year ago. Fewer than half currently believe the state is headed in the right direction.

Among Republican local leaders, 59% say the state is headed in the right direction, down from 72% who said the same last year. Declines in optimism can also be found among Independent (37% in 2015 vs. 45% in 2014) and Democratic officials (28% in 2015 vs. 30% a year ago).

Local leaders who believe Michigan is on the wrong track focus most commonly on problems with road funding, state tax policies, and general dysfunction in Lansing.
Meanwhile, local leaders who say Michigan is headed in the right direction cite economic issues such as Right-to-Work legislation, helping Detroit through bankruptcy, the Pure Michigan tourism campaign and careful management of the state budget, led by Governor Snyder.

Governor Snyder’s performance is rated good or excellent by 54% of local officials, up slightly from 52% in 2014. Less than a quarter (23%) rate the Michigan Legislature¹s performance as good or excellent, down from 28% a year ago.

All MPPS reports are distributed to state and local government officials and other policymakers, and they are widely cited in the media (see http://closup.umich.edu/

In addition, the CLOSUP website provides detailed tables of the data collected in all of the MPPS surveys, with data from the Spring 2015 wave now available.