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Poll: Most Arizonans dissatisfied with Legislature’s performance

Most Arizona voters are dissatisfied with the way the Legislature has handled the state budget and taxes, according to a poll released Thursday.

The poll by Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy and Knowledge Networks found that 68 percent of registered voters disapprove of the Legislature’s performance on fiscal matters.

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, the assistant House minority leader, said she’s not surprised by the results.

“This is a group that cut $1.2 billion from K-12 education and $230 million from higher education,” she said.

When asked if they believe that the state Legislature has the wrong priorities, 63 percent of Republicans and 71 percent of Democrats agreed.

David Daugherty, director of research at the Morrison Institute, said he was surprised by the degree of unhappiness on both sides of the aisle.

“There’s a real disenchantment with government here in Arizona,” he said. “It seems to match some of the disenchantment we see around the country.”

Bruce Merrill, a retired Arizona State University professor who conducts the Cronkite/Eight Poll, called the results “bad news for the Legislature.”

Merrill added he was surprised the results weren’t more unfavorable, saying national polls of Congress showed dissatisfaction of around 85 percent.

Representatives of the House and Senate Republican leadership didn’t return phone messages by Thursday afternoon.

The survey was conducted using an online probability-based panel designed to be representative of the U.S. population. It had a sample size of 614 voters and a margin for error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Participants identified through the panel received a letter or phone call inviting them to participate by computer. Those without computers were given access to a laptop and an Internet connection at no cost.

Highlights from poll:
• Disapprove of the way the Legislature handles the budget and taxes: 68 percent.
• Believe there is too much partisan conflict among lawmakers: 74 percent.
• Generally satisfied with the way things are going in state government: 36 percent.

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