An LSU Public Policy Research Lab survey finds a majority of Louisiana residents support two of Governor John Bel Edwards’ major policy issues – criminal justice reform and Medicaid expansion. Of those surveyed, 61-percent say they support the sweeping changes made last year. LSU’s Dr. Mike Henderson says there seems to be support on changing the state’s sentencing laws, because over half of the respondents believe the system is not fair, especially African-Americans.
Henderson says, "In both years, non-white residents of the state were more likely to say than white residents that the system wasn't fair. But that gap has expanded this year."
69-percent of the respondents approve of Medicaid expansion, which took effect in June of 2016. Some 430-thousand Louisiana residents enrolled in the government funded health insurance. Henderson says those polled aren’t concerned about the costs.
Henderson says, "In the past, we've done experiments where we've asked people about how it might impact the potential cost of the state, and it didn't matter. We just think that people find this idea of expanding coverage to be an attractive idea."
Henderson says since the approval ratings are high on these two major policy changes, it could help the governor get re-elected.
Henderson expresses, "From his (Governor Edwards') view, he can hope that their approval of those policy agendas transfer to attitudes about him and could potentially support him as a result of that."