For the first time since 2012, more people in Louisiana are optimistic about the future of the state, according to the 2017 Louisiana Survey.
Director of the LSU Public Policy Research Lab Michael Henderson says 46% of residents believe the state is headed in the right direction. Henderson credits this to the evolving political landscape.
“If you look across parties, Republicans, Democrats and Independents, everybody got more optimistic. Everybody had an improved mood about the state from last year to this year.”
Henderson says despite a better sense of optimism in the state, Louisiana residents still have a lot of concerns and the number one concern is the state’s budget problems.
“The economy and education were always the big two named as the most important problem and kind of go back in forth year to year on which one is the biggest, but for the second year in a row we’ve seen the budget beat out both of those.”
But 40% of the respondents say they are confident state government can effectively address the state’s important problems. That’s a 6% increase from the year before. Henderson says usually residents are more pessimistic about the ability of our elected officials.
“What’s intriguing about it is it has basically been on the decline since 2008. Only twice since 2008, have we seen an increase and this is the second time and it’s a significant increase.”