Heavy blocks provide new security at the Capitol on Saturday, Jan.16. State officials took precautions ahead of warnings from the FBI of possible protests at capitols across the country. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)
A majority of Oregonians will get the Covid vaccination when it’s available, and they also want the Legislature to hold off on any sweeping policy proposals during the 2021 session.
Those are the two big takeaways from the results of a survey commissioned by a statewide business advocacy group.
On Friday, Oregon Business and Industry released the results of a survey of 500 registered voters conducted by polling firm Moore Information Group between Jan. 4 and 7 that has a 4% margin of error. The results were released a day after the Legislature resumed its work. The Legislature had suspended meetings because of possible unrest outside the Capitol.
The survey found that 64% of respondents said the Legislature should hold off on any new taxes or regulations on businesses that have been hard-hit by the pandemic. Another 76% said the state should not raise taxes on households and 62% said lawmakers should keep their hands off tax breaks included in the federal pandemic relief package enacted in spring of last year.
“This is not a time for sweeping new legislative mandates, new taxes and new regulations,” said Sandra McDonough, the group’s president and CEO, in a statement. “We hope the Legislature will join us in supporting this message from Oregonians.”
The same day the survey results were publicized, legislative Democrats, who dominate both chambers, signaled they had different ideas.
Oregon House Democrats released details on their “transformational agenda” for 2021 that included goals aimed at addressing systemic racism, combating climate change, expanding access to healthcare and housing, among others. Similarly, the Senate Democrats announced a “bold agenda” that included criminal justice reform and securing family-wage jobs.
The survey also found that 68% of respondents were concerned they or a family member will contract Covid. The same percentage said they’ll take the vaccine when it’s available.
Higher-income respondents (84%) were more likely to get the shot than lower-income (56%). The same was true for whites (72%) over people of color (56%). Democrats were also more concerned about the virus (88%) than Republicans (48%).
Twenty percent of respondents listed the Covid pandemic as Oregon’s biggest problem, more than jobs and the economy (14%), homelessness (11%) or any other issue. When it came to Gov. Brown’s response to the pandemic, respondents were split with 48% approving and 47% disapproving. Overall, 48% approved of how Brown is doing as governor while 46% disapproved.
Contact reporter Jake Thomas at 503-575-1251 or [email protected] or @jakethomas2009.
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