Surveys

Every year your state representative and your state senator mail you a survey about topics that will be discussed in congress. Many representatives and senators listen to what you say in these surveys, so it’s important that you fill them out. You should know all you can about the topics you are being surveyed on. I researched some of the topics from Indiana’s survey.

Under federal health-care reform, Indiana can expand Medicaid to cover more Hoosiers, but it would cost taxpayers over $1.4 billion by 2020. Do you support or oppose expanding Medicaid?
Well, first you need to understand what Medicaid really is.
Medicaid is a program financed by both the federal and state governments that provides medical care to many of the nation’s most susceptible low-income people. States are required to cover certain benefits and can add more if they choose. States must also cover certain groups of people, but can cover more people if they want.
Then you need to consider the pros and cons to expanding Medicaid.
Cons to expanding Medicaid:
• If the state chooses to expand Medicaid, it will cost taxpayers approximately 1.4 billion dollars by 2020.
Pros to expanding Medicaid:
• In 2000, Medicaid covered 44 million people.
o 22.6 million children, 12 million elderly or disabled people, and 9.2 million adults
• It pays for the care of about 2/3’s of nursing home residents.

Do you support the elimination of township government?
So, what is township government and what does it do?
• Townships in Indiana consist of a township trustee and a three-member board.
• The trustee has the following duties:
o Providing fire protection and ambulance service to unincorporated areas of the county ( parts of the county that aren’t a part of a town)
o Burying the indigent
o Maintaining cemeteries
o Resolving fence disputes
o Investigating claims of livestock killed by dogs
o Managing weeds and underbrush
o Organizing the township budget
o Preparing an annual financial report
• The board’s duties include:
o Annual budget
o Approving township contracts
o Approving the annual report that shows all the townships expenses and debts
• The township trustee is elected every four years. The board is also elected every four years.

Should the state increase the gas tax?
• A gas tax is a tax on the sale of fuel. The money made from the tax is often used for transportation projects.
• Right now in Indiana we pay a gas tax of $0.18 per gallon plus a 7% sales tax.

Do you support or oppose requiring law enforcement to collect a DNA sample from criminal suspects in addition to their fingerprints?
DNA sampling is basically where law enforcement collects a sample of saliva from criminal suspects.
Pros to DNA sampling:
• DNA sampling (done by collecting saliva) poses no danger to people.
• Taking DNA samples from arrestees would dramatically improve law enforcement’s efficiency and effectiveness in solving crimes.
• DNA sampling is a much more accurate way to solve crimes.
Cons to DNA sampling:
• DNA samples can be misused in a variety of ways. (i.e. insurance companies could use them to determine if you have a genetic disease)
• DNA labs are so backlogged that it often takes forever to get results.
• The costs could outweigh any possible benefits.

When filling out a legislative survey, remember to be as informed as possible on all sides of the issue before making your choice. Also, be aware of any bias in the questions.

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