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Michigan Radio/PSC poll finds voters want a quick and simple solution to the road funding problem

Lindsey Smith
Michigan Radio

After the failure of Proposal 1 in the May 5 election, Michigan Radio and Public Sector Consultants wanted to figure out why. This past weekend we polled 600 likely voters about their thoughts on the recent ballot proposal.

Why did prop one fail infographic
Infographic based on survey conducted by Public Sector Consulting

Proposal 1 was meant to fund Michigan road repair and included increased funding for schools and other provisions.

We spoke with Jeff Williams, CEO of Public Sector Consultants, about the results of the survey.

Williams said the poll results show that the bill was just too complicated.

Almost half of respondents said that the bill's funding of "special interests beyond just fixing roads" was its downfall, and almost 20% said it was a failure of leadership. In further questions, only 1 in 5 voters thought Proposal 1 was just about taxes.

Who should take the lead on new proposal infographic
Infographic based on survey conducted by Public Sector Consulting

The survey also asked voters who they thought should take the lead in creating new legislation to fund infrastructure. The responses were relatively evenly split between the Michigan Department of Transportation, the Legislature, and the public itself --through a voter-led initiative.

Williams said this all points to the public's general confusion over Proposal 1.

"I think if we ask the question, 'how confused are you that it's taken this long to fix the roads,' I think a lot of the public would say, 'we're very confused,'" he said.

But what voters aren't confused about is the timeline they want. A majority of respondents -- 70% -- said a road funding resolution should be put together as soon as possible.

"When you put all of this together I think the voter sentiment comes out that this is a roads problem," said Williams. "It needs a roads solution and people need to do it right now."

-Paula Friedrich, Michigan Radio Newsroom

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