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Crime, education, insurance rates top Louisiana voter concerns, new WWL-TV poll shows

When you combine respondents’ first and second concerns, crime tops the list followed by education, with insurance at number three.

NEW ORLEANS — For years, the top issues for Louisiana residents have been education and the economy. 

According to a new WWL-TV statewide poll of 800 registered voters, while people still want better schools, they are becoming increasingly concerned about crime and skyrocketing insurance rates. 

When you combine respondents’ first and second concerns, crime tops the list followed by education, with insurance at number three. 

Public Affairs Research Council President Steve Procopion says he’s not surprised. 

“Coming out of COVID and all the social disruptions we had there, lots of places were hit by crime across the country, but it’s hitting Louisiana a little bit harder,” Procopio said. 

New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation Chair Elizabeth Boh admits crime is her number one concern. 

“It affects everyone throughout their day,” Boh said. “Unless we feel safe and comfortable, we can’t really have a good quality of life.” 

The foundation’s agreement to help recruit new police officers to New Orleans expired at the end of July. 

According to our partners at the Times Picayune, New Orleans Advocate, the online advertising that has driven police recruiting in the city for years was apparently suspended. NOPD took over recruitment this month. 

That resulted in a steep decline in applicants. 

“Over 10 years we generated more than 45,000 applications,” Boh said. “We were good at what we did. I’m confident that the department can pick it up.” 

As for concerns over insurance rates, GNO, Inc. President and CEO and NOLA Coalition organizer Michael Hecht says the next governor should look for a regional approach to help drive premiums down to a tolerable level. 

I think we might have to think about not just Louisiana, but all of the Gulf Coast states coming together to create a reinsurance backstop fund to bring reinsurers back in the market because the underlying condition that creating higher homeowners’ insurance is instability in the reinsurance market.” 

The WWL-TV survey also polled voters on how to grow the Louisiana economy. 

The top three ideas were to improve the business climate by cutting taxes and red tape, improve the quality of life here and develop a skilled workforce. 

“Reducing taxes and reducing red tape, well that’s about creating the conditions for investment,” Hecht said. “The second one was improving quality of life in the state, that’s about creating a place where you want to raise your family and the third, growing a skilled workforce actually hits both points.” 

Between now and the Oct. 14 primary, voters will be focused on what the candidates can do to solve the issues highlighted in the survey. 

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