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Lincoln Institute
of Public Opinion Research, Inc.

5405 Jonestown Road, Suite #110
Harrisburg, PA 17112

Phone: (717) 671-0776
Fax: (717) 671-1176

2012 Spring Keystone Business Climate Survey

Numerical Results


by Lincoln Institute
 

Total Started Survey: 332

Total Completed Survey: 309 (93.1%)

Section I: Business Climate

1. In general, do you think business conditions in Pennsylvania are better, the same, or worse than they were SIX MONTHS AGO?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

Better17.4%57
Same51.4%168
Worse30.3%99
No Opinion0.9%3
answered question 327
skipped question 5

2. LOOKING AHEAD SIX MONTHS, do you think business conditions will be better, the same, or worse than they are now?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

Better15.5%51
Same56.7%186
Worse25.6%84
No Opinion2.1%7
answered question 328
skipped question 4

3. Are employment levels at your company higher, the same, or lower, than they were SIX MONTHS AGO?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

Higher13.4%44
Same65.7%216
Lower19.5%64
No Opinion1.5%5
answered question 329
skipped question 3

4. LOOKING AHEAD SIX MONTHS, do you anticipate that employment levels at

your company will be higher, stay the same, or be lower?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

Higher15.9%52
Same69.4%227
Lower12.5%41
No Opinion2.1%7
answered question 327
skipped question 5

5. Have your company's sales increased, stayed relatively the same, or decreased during the PAST SIX MONTHS?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

Increased27.6%90
Same36.8%120
Decreased34.7%113
No Opinion0.9%3
answered question 326
skipped question 6

6. Do you expect your company's sales to increase, stay relatively the same, or decrease during the COMING SIX MONTHS?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

Increase31.8%103
Same46.3%150
Decrease19.8%64
No Opinion2.2%7
answered question 324
skipped question 8

7. At any point in the PAST SIX MONTHS has your company considered moving

all or part of its Pennsylvania operations to another state?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

Did move some operations0.9%3
Considered moving some operations5.2%17
Considered moving all operations4.0%13
Moved operations into Pennsylvania0.0%0
Didn't consider any moves89.9%295
answered question 328
skipped question 4

8. Do you foresee at any point in the COMING SIX MONTHS your company

considering moving all or part of its Pennsylvania operations to another

state?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

May move all operations3.4%11
May move some operations5.8%19
Not considering any moves90.5%295
May move operations INTO Pennsylvania0.3%1
answered question 326
skipped question 6

9. In general, do you have a POSITIVE, NEGATIVE or NO OPINION of the job performance of the following individuals?


PositiveNegativeNo OpinionResponse<br />Count
President Barack Obama8.9% (29)89.3% (291)1.8% (6)326
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke19.4% (62)58.9% (188)21.6% (69)319
U.S. Senator Pat Toomey46.9% (152)23.1% (75)29.9% (97)324
U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.11.4% (37)62.3% (202)26.2% (85)324
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner6.5% (21)67.9% (220)25.6% (83)324
Governor Tom Corbett48.1% (156)32.4% (105)19.4% (63)324
Auditor General Jack Wagner19.2% (62)15.2% (49)65.6% (212)323
State Treasurer Rob McCord13.9% (45)16.0% (52)70.1% (227)324
answered question327
skipped question5

10. In general, do you have a POSITIVE, NEGATIVE, or NO OPINION of the job performance of the following institutions?


PositiveNegativeNo OpinionResponse<br />Count
United States Senate4.6% (15)91.7% (298)3.7% (12)325
United States House of Representatives23.6% (77)71.2% (232)5.2% (17)326
Pennsylvania Senate21.9% (71)55.9% (181)22.2% (72)324
Pennsylvania House of Representatives25.6% (83)53.7% (174)20.7% (67)324
answered question326
skipped question6

Page: Section II: Issues

1. Pennsylvania lawmakers are considering a law that would limit increases in government spending to the rate of inflation plus population growth. For example, if we had three percent inflation and one percent population growth government spending could increase no more than four percent that year. The limit could only be exceeded by a majority of voters in a referendum at election time or by vote of two-thirds of lawmakers in a declared emergency. Generally speaking, would your FAVOR or OPPOSE such a law?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

STRONGLY FAVOR38.2%117
SOMEWHAT FAVOR38.9%119
SOMEWHAT OPPOSE7.2%22
STRONGLY OPPOSE11.4%35
REFUSED/NO OPINION4.2%13
answered question 306
skipped question 26

2. As you may know, the Department of Public Welfare funds many programs including Children and Youth Services, cash assistance programs like food stamps and medical assistance benefits to low income recipients and funding to nursing homes. For the first time in Pennsylvania history, Public Welfare is the largest category of spending in the state General Fund Budget with increases totalling more than fifty percent in the last nine years. Do you AGREE or DISAGREE that the state should slow the growth of spending in the Department of Public Welfare even if it means some of these programs will receive less funding?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

STRONGLY AGREE64.5%198
SOMEWHAT AGREE27.0%83
SOMEWHAT DISAGREE3.9%12
STRONGLY DISAGREE3.9%12
REFUSED/NO OPINION0.7%2
answered question 307
skipped question 25

3. Currently, many school districts collect union dues via payroll deductions from the paychecks of teachers and other school district emplyees. Those dues are then transferred to union bank accounts. State legislators in Harrisburg are considering a law that would require unions to collect these membership dues directly instead of relying on school districts and other governmental units to do this. Generally speaking to you FAVOR or OPPOSE this proposed new law?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

STRONGLY FAVOR72.3%222
SOMEWHAT FAVOR12.4%38
SOMEWHAT OPPOSE3.6%11
STRONGLY OPPOSE3.9%12
REFUSED/NO OPINION7.8%24
answered question 307
skipped question 25

4. Construction projects funded by public tax dollars in Pennsylvania are subject to the Prevailing Wage law, which essentially requires union level wages be paid on all such projects. Do you believe the commonwealth's system of Prevailing Wages should be kept, or should governmental entities be permitted to bid out such projects and allow market conditions to set labor rates?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

RETAIN PREVAILING WAGE LAW7.5%23
ALLOW MARKET CONDITIONS TO SET LABOR RATES91.2%281
REFUSED/NO OPINION1.3%4
answered question 308
skipped question 24

5. Do you FAVOR or OPPOSE enactment of what is commonly referred to as a Right to Work law, whereby a worker cannot be compelled to join or pay fees to a labor union as a condition of employment?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

STRONGLY FAVOR85.1%262
SOMEWHAT FAVOR6.8%21
SOMEWHAT OPPOSE2.6%8
STRONGLY OPPOSE3.9%12
REFUSED/NO OPINION1.6%5
answered question 308
skipped question 24

6. Labor Unions actively work to engage their members in the government/political process. Would you be willing to implement a project in your company that would mobilize your employees on behalf of issues and candidates seeking to improve Pennsylvania's business climate?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

YES27.8%85
NO35.9%110
REFUSED/NO OPINION36.3%111
answered question 306
skipped question 26

7. A number of proposals have been made seeking to reform and/or cut the operating costs of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Which of the following reform proposals would you support: (Check all that apply.)


Response

Percent

Response

Count

MAKING THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY PART-TIME38.7%118
LIMITING SESSIONS TO 90 DAYS EACH YEAR26.9%82
CUTTING THE SIZE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY54.1%165
ELIMINATING LEGISLATIVE PENSIONS50.8%155
REQUIRING RECIEPTS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES63.3%193
ALL OF THE ABOVE45.6%139
NONE OF THE ABOVE0.3%1
REFUSED/NO OPINION3.9%12
Other

Reduction of Legislative Pensions

I don"t know enough about the General Assembly.

Reducing the stipends paid to General Assembly members.

Our General Assembly is "OUT OF CONTROL".

Rewrite state and teacher pension plans to make fixed contribution rather than fixed payouts and require a contribution.

use a minimum no . of persons in sessions

smaller govt period!!!!!

My knowledge is too limited to know which is best.

pension and healthcare based on years in office

NO LIMO'S

Automatically adjust pay of legislators to be equivalent to 75% of the average pay of all managers and executives in PA's private sectors.

WOULD NEED TO LOOK AT IT MORE

When PA went to a full time legislature in 1956 - it was the beginning of the end. No budget No pay.

I don't understand why

An economic bill of rights to hamstring meddling legislation

We need a more streamlined pro-active legestration.

The general assembly is there to SERVE THE COMMONWEALTH - not their own self interests.

BRING POLITICIAN'S HEALTH AND RETIREMENT BENEFITS IN LINE WITH THE WORKING CLASS

have lower pension the longer in office

Lower salaries, limits on staffers as well

Term limits

21
answered question 305
skipped question 27

8. The General Assembly is considering a plan to end the state's liquor store monopoly and place distribution and retail sales of wine and spirits in private hands. Do you APPROVE or DISAPPROVE of privatizing the state's liquor stores?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

STRONGLY APPROVE61.2%188
SOMEWHAT APPROVE23.1%71
SOMEWHAT DISAPPROVE4.6%14
STRONGLY DISAPPROVE7.2%22
REFUSED/NO OPINION3.9%12
answered question 307
skipped question 25

9. Governor Tom Corbett has again proposed a state budget that contains no increase in taxes and no overall increase in state spending. Which of the following choices most closely reflects your view of the governor's budget:


Response

Percent

Response

Count

STATE SPENDING SHOULD BE CUT FURTHER58.5%179
KEEPING SPENDING AT LAST YEAR'S LEVEL IS APPROPRIATE35.6%109
STATE GOVERNMENT SHOULD INCREASE TAXES AND SPENDING2.3%7
REFUSED/NO OPINION3.6%11
answered question 306
skipped question 26

10. Which, if any, of the following categories would you cut in order to balance the state budget: (Check all that apply.)


Response

Percent

Response

Count

K-12 EDUCATION15.8%48
HIGHER EDUCATION38.3%116
PUBLIC WELFARE69.0%209
PRISONS/CORRECTIONS40.9%124
HIGHWAY/TRANSPORTATION8.3%25
HEALTH CARE32.0%97
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT24.1%73
HUMAN SERVICES41.9%127
ALL OF THE ABOVE19.1%58
NONE OF THE ABOVE4.3%13
REFUSED/NO OPINION2.0%6
Other

Prisoners should not get free education/medical care

State representatives salaries.

Break the unions!

Highways you can fix by eliminating Davis Bacon. Does anybody even remember it was to stop the hiring of southern blacks?

all programs for the people that think everything is free in this country

state pensions salaries

use prisoners for public service and cut their tv and free time in jail

reduce number of state employees

cut government offices and legislature

Unemployment Payments

state pension plans must be removed social security good enogh for eveybody else

Every PA department contains waste in number of people and redundancy!

Cut pensions, health benefits, and expenses of all government employees, cut the waste in the above programs, where is all the gas tax money going?

all equally

It is impossible for someone on the outside to recommend spending cuts that make sence. We need someone at the state level to use common sence to do that job without an agenda.

goverment spending and ther pays

salaries of officials cut to reflect the reduction in economy

pay and benifits for all goverment employees inc. officials

Goverment Salaries

Entitlements

there are many jobs that welfare recipients could do to earn their welfare checks.

Make cuts to selected NO increases to unchecked

Require negative drug test for receiving welfare

wasteful programs and redundent programs event at county levels

The State shouldn't be expected to take care of everyone!

5% accross the board

THE POLITIONS COMPENSATION

repeal Prevaling Wages-- cost with no benefit

The price of running the State Government esp retirement benefits

Costs to operate legislature and government offices, costs to operate courts

ALL pensions for State Representatives, Senators, and the Governor)

31
answered question 303
skipped question 29

11. A new law has been enacted permitting counties to levy taxes/fees on companies drilling in the Marcellus Shale region. Do you think:


Response

Percent

Response

Count

THE TAX IS NOT HIGH ENOUGH23.9%73
NO ADDITIONAL TAXES SHOULD HAVE BEEN LEVIED22.2%68
THE NEW TAX IS ABOUT RIGHT30.7%94
REFUSED/NO OPINION23.2%71
answered question 306
skipped question 26

12. In what part of Pennsylvania is your business located?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

Northwest PA13.0%40
Southwest PA16.9%52
Northcentral PA5.2%16
Altoona/Johnstown3.3%10
Southcentral/Harrisburg20.2%62
Southeastern PA24.4%75
Lehigh Valley8.8%27
Northeastern PA8.1%25
answered question 307
skipped question 25

13. Which category best describes your position at the business in which your work:


Response

Percent

Response

Count

OWNER79.3%245
CEO/COO/CFO12.6%39
STATE MANAGER1.0%3
LOCAL MANAGER3.2%10
NO ANSWER/REFUSED2.3%7
Other

co founder

office manager

Office Manager

Co-owner CFO

Vice-president of Operations

1.6%5
answered question 309
skipped question 23

14. Please feel free to make any additional comments or observations about Pennsylvania's business climate.


Response<br />Count
Businesses in PA struggle daily to keep their margins in the black and out of the red.

no one should be required to join a union

Anything taht goes UP must come DOWN. Wages in particular. We base our wages on the going market price for our product. Then at the end of the year we give a bonus. If we have a good year, the bonus reflects that. If we have a bad year the bonus reflect that too. Wages cannot continue to climb or all our U. S. companies will be leaving the U. S.

we need to keep tax's down to help bring in more business and more employment. we need to cut the size of pa. govt and make it part time. people that vote on rules and laws must read them

It sucks. No wonder it's a welfare state. I am forced to buy crap frap from China to survive. It would be fair if they were forced to buy my product. I took a 50% cut in sales since last year so I would like to see all working in government take a 50%cut. I'm hoping to move out of the country. Almost anywhere looks better than here even Vietnam.

Pennsylvania needs to invest more in transportation.

The economy will take a downturn after the election, no matter who wins. Should Obama be re-elected, he will strengthen his efforts to redistribute wealth. Should another win, he will have to make other corrections which will reverse bad decisions, but will be painful as well. However, in the long term, we must REJECT OBAMA.

For survey sake we also have factories in Western Pa. The state police DOT officiers are out of control, we surely do not need more of them.

Our business will be closing this year, in large part due to the unpredictable nature of income / economic conditions.

Sales dropped 20% in 2009, and been there ever since. The new normal.

Employer share of unemployment to high for small business

In our area if the city of Reading could get rid of the freeloaders and drug dealers, the climate would change and perhaps more businesses would be inclined to provide jobs that are not available in our area.

My opinions are based on the current agricultural climate in PA

I am tired of hearing about the government cutting spending on things that we need and how we have to make sacrifices. How about the lawmakers take a pay cut for a change. why don't they make some sacrifices themselves and make an example. We are all in this together.

i FEEL THAT CONGRESS SHOULD HAVE THE SAME HEALTH INSURANCE AS WE DO AND WELL AS PENSIONS

DEP is getting out of hand - they make up policies that have the effect of regulations without allowing input comment by the regulated community.

Increases in state unemployment payroll tax do not help grow my business.

my opinion and my opinion only, there are a lot of other factors influencing my answers beyond the state of the general economy. many are management decision results because of the state of our economy, not that its any better as a whole. just trying to make it better for me....

It is impossible to obtain loans or funding from banks for day to day operations even with property as collateral. School property taxes are way too high and are the most detested tax I must pay. There surely is a better way to fund local schools that is much more equitable for every citizen of PA.

Welfare reform must be implemented and further cuts are necessary, It is absolutely essential that BIrth control be available and encouraged among young adults. The number of 2nd child out of wedlock-to a different partner than child number one, is outlandishly high! With the autism rate, children requiring subsidies and a greater cost in education, who is paying for it. My employees and my business-employees who are not getting raises and increaased benefits that they deserve~That is Un-American! work so that others may have....To both parties-Get your priorities in order and your head out of the sand.

Pa. was cited as the least frtendly state for business in the union, what a great thing to be known for.

Capitalism works! Remove Gov't and Unions from the process and let individuals (with their freedoms) do what they do best - produce jobs and ideas. Also, the Government's systematic removal of religion from this Country destroys the morals of all individuals. Without morals and doing what is right there will be some companies taking advantage of people. Remove the Socialist (Progressive) element from this Country!

we are not the goverments piggy banks they can raid at choice!

The teacher pension fund extra make up money should be dropped. My funds also suffered in the last several years and the teachers won't help to replace that money. Why should I have to fund their retirement?

Business needs all the breaks we can get so we can hire people to help finance this state

education and pension reforms needed

do to the very poor acts retired teachers gov employs increases made on small and large buss the acts taken in past 15 + years poor to flat bo bo . The PA Gov will be broke and the pros at the top that never really worked. think to much and do to little or they may hurt them self .

Drug test for welfare limit duration on welfare. Welfare has become the norm for some families from generation to generation.

Gas prices will kill our economy again. All the economical problems started with high gas prices after Katrina. At $2.50 per gallon our economy flourishes. Eliminate all government pensions, have them by the same health insurance as the rest of America does, and have them contribute to their health care as we all do.

Prevailing Wages should also be reflected with engineering, financial, legal architectural costs often exceeding the cost of the project. Oppose the education block grant proposal as presented.

The legislators at both the federal and state level need to cut their budgets, tighten their belts and quit spending money we don't have. Then the business climate would improve.

MY BUSINESS IS 33 YEARS OLD AND THE CLIMATE IS THE WORST I EVER SEEN !

According to the Tax Foundation, as reported recently in Investor's Business Daily, Pennsylvania wins the dubious distinction of imposing the heaviest burden on its businesses, with a overall effective rate that's 45% above the national average. That must change. Governor Corbett also promised a School Voucher program, and he needs to follow through. Finally, gambling has to be either restricted or eliminated in PA. It isn't helping our overall economy. It was a bad idea.

I feel that our Federal Legislators should support a proposal authorizing any entity negotiating with an entity that is exempt from anti-trust regs, that entity should also be exempt from anti-trust regs.

Governor Corbett needs to send the money back we got from the Federal Government to implement Obamacare. The federal government cannot force a state to force it's citizens to buy insurance under the US Constitution. The Governor should refuse to implement this law based on the Nineth and Tenth Amendments in the Bill of Rights.

Too much Government intervention and regulations in everything we do!

Eliminate the unions that work inside the government contracts and have an open market salary with open market retirement privileges. This will eliminate people standing around and collecting a paycheck for doing nothing.

eliminat prevailing rate laws.Require urine tests for all welfare recipients. Support tax cuts on any energy (fuel).Cut back on DEP and other non common sense departments. Put God and common sense back in our government. Cut social services by requiring people to work and not allow welfare money to buy non esentials.

TOO regulated and expensive to operate,

Cut PA spending, but not cut public school money. Get rid of welfare food stamps for people that can work, but refuse to.

I HAVE TWO KIDS AT PSU SO MY OPION MAY BE HARD TO UNDERSTAND

We need a balanced budget. Period. Unemployment compensation should last a shorter period of time. Then it should be paid to an employer who hires someone previously on unemployment to train this person and pay them a fair wage.

Well thought out survey. Make sure my representative "Sue Helm" receives the results.

Until we consolodate municipalites and School districts in BEaver County we will continue to pay gov't beauocrats and union lackies to harras business owners to the point of their leaving the state or business field.

We simply must stop spending

all representatives and senators should take a pay freeze.

Drop the 1% suplimental tax in Allegheny County Philadelphia. The tax drives sales to nearby counties that don't have the additional 1%. Unemployment Comp collected for business owners that can NEVER collect it should be discontinued... Health Insurance premiums are now included as income to business owners but NOT to employees. This was changed in 2010 and should be repealed.

I BELIEVE THAT UNEMPLOYMENT SHOULD BE REDUCED BY $2.00 PER WEEK UNTIL IT IS REDUCED TO $0.00. THE INDIVIDUAL MAY COLLECT THE FULL AMOUNT EVEN IF HE/SHE FINDS GAINFULL EMPLOYMENT UNTIL EXHAUSTED. UNEMPLOYMENT COULD NOT BE APPLIED FOR AGIAN FOR 2 YEARS FROM END OF LAST CLAIM.

we are a small family business which delivers heating oil. Price of oil is too high which raises the price of other products services.

Programs to help lower/middle class education, grants and funding are needed to be increased aor restored. Health care in PA is a joke, no competition, Small businesses have a break under OBAMA as my business benefited greatly from the tax credits on employee paid benefits but the Incurance providers have no regulation or competetion for better rates.

74
answered question74
skipped question258


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