Playlist: Michigan

Thomas Ivacko: Survey shows Michigan governor's approval rating is higher

July 26, 2012 0:01:38
Kaltura Video

Thomas Ivacko is the administrator and program manager of the Ford School's Center for Local, State and Urban Policy. He oversees the Michigan Public Policy Survey program.


Here at the Ford School of Public Policy, we conduct the Michigan Public Policy Survey. It's a twice per year survey of local government leaders all across the state of Michigan. These are city mayors and city managers, county administrators, township supervisors, and so on.
The most recent survey was conducted in the spring of 2012, and what we found is a significant increase in job approval ratings of Gov. Snyder, and at the same time we found increased optimism among local leaders about the direction that the state of Michigan is heading.
We think that these increased job approval ratings reflect a pretty wide variety of views among local leaders. 
Certainly the improving economy is likely to be a factor in some of these views, but the strongest correlation that we found in views that the state is heading in the right direction are tied to the governor's approval ratings, and the governor and the state legislator have introduced a series of bold policy reforms in the last year that are affecting local governments. Things like Emergency Manager law. There have also been changes in urban cooperation to make it easier for local governments to work together to jointly provide services. There are limits for what local governments can pay for healthcare benefits for their employees and so on.
So there's been a wide variety of policy changes in Lansing that we think are behind some of these views as well.