As the Republican-controlled Congress begins work in Washington D.C., a new poll shows the issues Utahns want legislators to focus on this session.
The poll, commissioned by UtahPolicy.com, found that federal debt is the top issue for people in Utah. UtahPolicy.com Managing Editor Bryan Schott said the result was anticipated.
“I expected the federal debt to be the one at the top because that’s been a talking point for Utah politicians for a number of years, so it comes up in campaigns quite a bit," Schott said. "[It] is quite interesting because, as you know, it’s been decreasing in growth under President Barack Obama, but that knowledge doesn’t seem to have taken hold here in Utah."
Following federal debt, which 83 percent of respondents listed as important, funding for Social Security, immigration and tax reform all ranked as highly important amongst respondents.
Just 50 percent said getting congress to pass the Keystone XL pipeline was a priority, while a mere 30 percent said climate change deserved attention. Schott said the climate change finding was surprising because the state has increased focus on air quality. He added that Democrats, who traditionally support tougher climate measures, responded unexpectedly in the poll.
“Republicans, their top issue was federal debt. Democrats said social security was their top issue followed by immigration reform,” Schott said. “So again, not even Democrats in Utah think that climate change should be a priority for congress.”
Click here for a link the poll.