The Social Science Research Center at Boise State University annually conducts a large-scale survey of Idahoans to identify public policy concerns. James Weatherby summarized those findings on Jan. 17 for members of the Idaho Transportation Board during their monthly meeting in Boise.
About 63 percent of the citizens believe the state is headed in the right direction, according to the survey. Respondents believe education, the economy, growth and taxes are the most important issues facing Idaho today. They believe the Legislature should focus on health care costs, public school funding, property tax reform and energy policies.
More Idahoans mentioned that fuel prices are an important issue in 2005 than in 2004.
Respondents place the greatest trust in local government (42.5 percent) followed by state (26.8 percent) and federal (11.2 percent). Twenty-two percent believe the local property tax is the least fair tax, followed by 18 percent for both the federal income tax and state income tax, which were deemed equally unfair.
More information on the 17th annual survey can be found at http://sspa.boisestate.edu/ssrc
Other board consideration
Federal Transit Coalition support
Proposed projects include bus shelters on the Boise State University campus, a new transit facility on the campus of the University of Idaho, vehicles for Ketchum /Sun Valley Transit Authority and Valley Regional Transit, and facilities for the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s bus service.
The board will forward to Idaho’s Congressional Delegation a letter supporting those projects.
Division of Aeronautics’ annual report
The safety/education program continues to grow with new tools, such as teacher in-service and newsletters. The maintenance program continues to rely on volunteers for assistance.
This year, an out-of-state group adopted an airstrip, illustrating the popularity of Idaho’s airstrip network.
Although there were fewer airplane crashes in 2005 than in the previous year, there were more fatalities.
The division, with guidance from the Idaho State Historic Preservation Office, is conducting a historical study of the central Idaho mountain airports to extract information required for listing in the National Register.
The effort will provide the U.S. Department of the Interior’s National Park Service essential information for use in historic preservation planning and in the establishment of preservation priorities based on historical significance.
The information also may be used in historical publications, tourist pamphlets, walking tour notes and educational manuals directed at elementary and secondary school students.