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Thursday, May 26th, 2022
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MADISON — A solid majority of Wisconsinites want police officers in schools and work requirements for welfare recipients, according to a new poll from the State Policy Network.

The results of the poll, conducted for SPN by Morning Consult between April 14-20, were released Wednesday by the Badger Institute.

Of the 489 registered Wisconsin voters surveyed, 72 percent said they want police officers present in schools.

The Madison Metropolitan School District in 2020 ended its contract with Madison Police to staff School Resource Officers. The Milwaukee Board of School Directors cut police presence in Milwaukee Public Schools, canceling more than $400,000 in payments to the MPD. The controversial actions have citizens demanding the return of officers amid high-profile crimes on campuses. 

A Republican-authored bill in the most recent legislative session would have required school districts with 100 or more violent incidents and 25 or more arrests in a semester to hire a school resource officer.

The poll found 60 percent of respondents support laws that require individuals receiving state government assistance to work or seek work.

Gov. Tony Evers has yet to implement a state law signed by his predecessor that requires able-bodied welfare recipients to look for a job as a condition of receiving taxpayer-funded benefits.

Republican lawmakers were forced to write more bills demanding Evers do his job.

“If this is something you’ve heard before, it’s because it’s state law, and the governor is not enforcing it,” said state Rep. Mark Born (R-Beaver Dam) in detailing Assembly Bill 935 to reporters before floor session in February. The measure was part of a package of bills aimed at tackling the workforce shortage.

“We have a law on the books that if you are an able-bodied adult without dependents, you need to be looking for work if you’re on the FoodShare program,” Born added. “The governor has decided to waive that unilaterally because of the pandemic, acting like there are not enough jobs for people.”

Evers last month vetoed the personal responsibility measures that Wisconsinites support.

On education, 65 percent of Wisconsin voters surveyed said they agree that parents should have more input on what is taught in public schools; 30 percent said they disagree.

Evers also recently vetoed a parental bill of rights measure that would have required greater transparency on curriculum and school policies.

On the subject of trust in government, 49 percent of respondents said they are mistrustful of the federal government, 44 percent mistrust state government and 31 percent mistrust their city or local government.

Same goes for the media. For newspapers and magazines, 40 percent said they do not trust them at all or hardly trust them, 47 percent said they trust them somewhat and 13 percent said they trust them a great deal or completely. For broadcast news media, 46 percent said they do not trust them at all or hardly trust them, 40 percent said they trust them somewhat and 14 percent trust broadcast media outlets a great deal or completely.

A Gallup poll in September found Americans trust their state governments (57%) more than their federal government (37% legislative branch) and their local governments (66%) more than state government.

Americans’ trust in the media to report the news fully, accurately and fairly edged down four percentage points in 2021, to 36 percent, making it the second lowest in Gallup’s trend.

Read more details on the SPN survey at the Badger Institute.

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