Community Resilience Study

Louisiana, and the Baton Rouge metropolitan area in particular, endured a series of tumultuous events in the summer of 2016, including the shooting of Alton Sterling by Baton Rouge police officers, protests in response to this shooting, the murders of law enforcement officers Montrell Jackson, Brad Garafola and Matthew Gerald, and unprecedented flooding.

To better understand how residents of Louisiana have reacted to these events and the profound social issues they raise, the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University commissioned the Community Resilience Study. The study consists of a survey administered to a statewide sample of adult Louisiana residents as well as a sample of residents in the metro Baton Rouge area: East Baton Rouge Parish, Ascension Parish and Livingston Parish.

2017 Louisiana Survey: Opinion Divided on “Religious Freedom” Laws and Use of Public Restrooms by Transgender Individuals

Louisiana is split over policies termed “religious-freedom” laws designed to allow businesses to refuse services to same-sex couples on the basis of religion and tilts in a conservative direction on the use of public restrooms by transgender individuals. Yet, public opinion in the state is much more supportive of state laws to prohibit discrimination in the workplace on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

This is the sixth and final release on results from the 2017 Louisiana Survey.

2017 Louisiana Survey:  Public Approves of Medicaid Expansion, But Remains Divided on Affordable Care Act

About three fourths of Louisiana residents approve of the state’s decision to expand its Medicaid program last year under the auspices of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA). The public remains deeply divided over the ACA itself, but opinion is shifting in a more favorable direction. The share of respondents with an unfavorable opinion of the ACA today is seven percentage points lower than it was in 2014, and the share with a favorable opinion is eleven percentage points higher.

This is the fifth in a series of six releases on results from the 2017 Louisiana Survey.

2017 Louisiana Survey: Large Majority Favors Equal Pay

The 2017 Louisiana Survey, a project of the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication, shows that a majority of state residents think there are still significant obstacles that make it harder for women to get ahead than men. Furthermore, there is very little opposition to a proposal for the state to require employers to pay men and women the same amount for the same work.

This is the fourth in a series of six releases on results from the 2017 Louisiana Survey.

2017 Louisiana Survey: Large Majority Favors Criminal Justice Reform

There is strong support for criminal justice reform in Louisiana. Large majorities favor three criminal justice reform proposals included in the 2017 Louisiana Survey: Shorter sentences for people convicted of non-violent crimes; more alternatives to prison – such as drug treatment or rehabilitation programs – for people convicted of non-violent offenses; and abandoning mandatory minimum sentences in favor of more flexibility for judges to determine sentences. However, opinion is sensitive to the nature of the offense involved. There is less support for shortening sentences for individuals convicted of crimes such as burglary or selling illegal drugs than for those convicted of fraud or use of illegal drugs.

Louisiana residents also believe crime in the state is on the rise. Sixty-five percent think crime has increased over the past five years, an increase of ten percentage points over the share who said crime was increasing when the question was last included on the Louisiana Survey in 2015.

This is the third in a series of six reports from the 2017 Louisiana Survey.

2017 Louisiana Survey: More Optimism about Direction of State, but Few Say Economy Improving

Optimism about the future of Louisiana and confidence in state government to solve important challenges are on the rise, but at the same time the public remains concerned about the state’s budgetary problems and few see an improving economy.

This is the second in a series of six reports from the 2017 Louisiana Survey.

2017 Louisiana Survey: Public Supports Raising Taxes to Fund Key Services, But Which Kind of Taxes Remains Unclear

The share of Louisiana residents who support raising taxes to fund elementary and secondary education, higher education, health care, and transportation infrastructure far exceeds the share who favor cuts in these areas. Yet, the 2017 Louisiana Survey, a project of the Reilly Center for Media and Public Affairs at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication, shows most residents think the state’s personal income and sales taxes are about right at their current levels. There is strong, bipartisan support for raising the state’s tax on gasoline up to an additional 15 cents per gallon to fund transportation infrastructure.

This is the first in a series of six reports from the 2017 Louisiana Survey.

The Louisiana Survey

The Louisiana Survey is sponsored by the Reilly Center for Media and Public Affairs in Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communication. The survey has been conducted each year since 2003 and twice in 2006, establishing rich longitudinal measures of public opinion in Louisiana. The mission of the Louisiana Survey is to establish benchmarks as well as to capture change in residents’ assessments of state government services.  The survey is further dedicated to tracking public opinion on the contemporary policy issues that face the state.  Each iteration of the Louisiana Survey contains core items designed to serve as barometers of public sentiment, including assessments of whether the state is heading in the right direction or wrong direction, perceptions about the most important problems facing the state, as well as evaluations of public revenue sources and spending priorities.

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

Established by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is a state-based system of health surveys to collect information on health risk behaviors, preventive health practices, and health care access primarily related to chronic disease and injury. Currently, data are collected monthly in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam. More than 350,000 adults are interviewed each year, making the BRFSS the largest telephone health survey in the world. For many states, the BRFSS is the only available source of timely and accurate data on health-related behavior. The data help states identify emerging health problems, establish and track health objectives, and develop and evaluate public health policies and programs. Many states also use BRFSS data to support health-related legislative efforts. The Public Policy Research Lab administers the BRFSS for two states: Louisiana (since 2008) and Tennessee (since 2014).