Salt Lake City, UT (December 3, 2013) — In an effort to involve more Utahns in the political process, Libertas Institute announces the launch of a new program to bring more citizens to the legislature. The Citizen Sponsorship Program enables interested Utahns to monitor and lobby for or against one bill during the general legislative session each year.
“We are looking to crowdsource citizen participation at the legislature,” said Connor Boyack, president of Libertas Institute. “Other than legislators, government employees, and tourists, almost all of the people at the Capitol are professional lobbyists. We intend to change that.”
New public opinion poll erodes support for proposed legislation
Salt Lake City, UT (November 25, 2013) — A new poll conducted by Libertas Institute shows that a majority of Utah voters oppose punishing business owners or landlords for discriminating in employment and housing. 750 random Utah voters were contacted and administered a questionnaire. The margin of sampling error is ±3.57%.
Key findings include:
- 86% of Utah voters believing that individuals have the right to do business with whomever they choose.
- 66% believe that business owners should be able to employ whomever they wish based on whatever criteria they establish.
- 71% oppose punishing landlords for discriminating against persons based on their religion.
- Only 31% of Utah voters support punishing business owners or landlords for discriminating against gay or transgender persons. 55% oppose.
- 44% believe that anti-discrimination laws violate property rights. 34% believe that they do not.
Click here for additional questions and breakdown of all results based on political affiliation, age, and religion.
New public opinion poll highlights anger towards park closures
Salt Lake City, UT (October 8, 2013) — A new poll conducted by Libertas Institute shows that a majority of Utah voters oppose the closure of national parks throughout the state. 500 random Utah voters were contacted and administered a questionnaire. The margin of sampling error is ±4.38%.
Key findings include:
- 81% of Utah voters believe that the park closures were not necessary due to the “shutdown.”
- 48% support acts of civil disobedience to gain access to closed parks. 41% oppose.
- 68% support state funding of parks to keep them open. 68% would also support forcefully opening parks if the offer of funding was rejected.
- 50% believe that the park closures will have a negative or very negative impact on Utah’s tourism industry.
- 55% support Utah taking over national parks on a permanent basis. 23% oppose.
- 58% of Utah Republicans blame the Obama administration for shutting down the parks, but roughly the same percentage of Democrats blame Congressional Republicans.
Salt Lake City, UT (August 28, 2013) — A new poll conducted by Libertas Institute shows that a majority of Utah voters favor legalizing cannabis for medical use. 500 random Utah voters were contacted and administered a questionnaire. The margin of sampling error is ±4.38%.
While 57% of Utah voters oppose a general legalization, 61% approve of legalizing the drug for use in medical situations. Only 28% oppose the effort.
Salt Lake City, UT (August 26, 2013) — In an exclusive interview with Libertas Institute, a Utah mother discusses her son’s severe seizures and how he is being denied one medical option that may help. Having tried 25 other treatments prescribed by doctors, Jennifer May now wants to try medical marijuana.
Recently, a CNN story went viral highlighting a Colorado girl named Charlotte who had strong seizures many times daily, and after other options were exhausted, was given cannabis as a treatment. She immediately responded, and went from hundreds of seizures daily to only one per week.
Salt Lake City, UT (August 8, 2013) — The results of a new survey of Utah voters were released today by Libertas Institute. Three areas were covered, each relevant to current events: the NSA, alcohol policy, and polygamy.
54% of Utah voters expressed support for the NSA facility operating in Utah, though 46% believe that the NSA’s activities violate the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Additionally, 48% of respondents said that the federal government’s anti-terrorism policies have gone too far in restricting civil liberties, while only 18% said that they haven’t gone far enough.
Salt Lake City, UT (March 28, 2013) — In an attempt to determine where Utah voters stands on a variety of relevant subjects, Libertas Institute surveyed 425 random Utah voters on May 22-23, 2013. Potential survey participants were screened to ensure that they were currently a registered voter in the state of Utah. Sampled voters were contacted and administered a questionnaire over the telephone. The margin of sampling error is ±4.75%.
Some of the results were expected, while others were surprising. Only 19% of Utah voters believe that the federal government is heading in the right direction (and few of them are Republican). Similarly, 57% of Utah voters believe that the federal government regularly or frequently exceeds its constitutional limits.
Salt Lake City, UT, March 15, 2013 — With yesterday’s legislative general session concluding, Libertas Institute announces the release of its annual Legislator Index in which the key votes of Senators and Representatives are ranked.
A total of 22 votes are used to grade legislators, based on bills that had a significant positive or negative impact on individual liberty, private property, or free enterprise. Grouping both the House and Senate together, and aggregating all the votes, the legislature received a grade of 43% for this session. (The legislature got 48% in 2012, 46% in 2011, and 62% in 2010.)
In the House of Representatives, the highest ranked legislator is Brian Greene, a Republican freshman from Pleasant Grove. He is the only legislator to receive a 100% score. He is closely followed by Representatives Marc Roberts and John Knotwell, both Republicans. The lowest ranking Representatives are Lynn Hemingway, Brian King, and Carol Spackman Moss, all Democrats.
In the Senate, Mark Madsen and Margaret Dayton, both Republicans, ranked highest at 75% and 71% respectively. Senators Luz Robles and Karen Mayne, both Democrats, are at the bottom, being ranked at 15% and 18% respectively.
“This index has proven extremely valuable to constituents throughout the state, looking to more easily understand whether their Representative or Senator defends their life, liberty, and property,” said Connor Boyack, president of Libertas Institute. “As candidates, these legislators often claim they support the free market, individual liberty, and other important ideals. This index enables Utahns to analyze whether their record matches their rhetoric.”
The Legislator Index is interactive, allowing individuals to sort ratings based on a specific bill or the total rating. A brief analysis of each ranked bill is also provided.
Multiple firearm-related bills will be considered today in committees
Salt Lake City, UT, February 20, 2013 — Launched just a few days ago, a petition in support of several firearm-related bills has received over 1,000 signatures. Sponsored by Libertas Institute, it allows citizens to directly email legislators on the two committees which will be hearing the proposed legislation.
“Multiple state legislatures, along with the United States Congress, have seen new legislation introduced which will increasingly regulate and restrict an individual’s right to obtain, own, and use a gun,” said Connor Boyack, president of Libertas Institute. “Utah has the fortunate opportunity to oppose this trend and support important laws that will strengthen, rather than violate, this fundamental right.”
Response to Governor Hebert’s speech provides more context
Salt Lake City, UT, January 31, 2013 — In response to the Governor’s 2013 “State of the State” address, given last night, Libertas Institute announced its own report describing and documenting the condition of Utah’s government.
“It’s common to hear flowery rhetoric and political sound bytes in speeches such as last night’s, so we thought we would offer a more complete and substantive report of how well things are going in Utah,” said Connor Boyack, president of Libertas Institute. “We should all celebrate the successes our state has achieved, but there is significant room for improvement.”