Large majority of Virginians lacked information about the state budget process but wanted it, Wilder School poll finds

A large majority of Virginians said they did not have enough information to approve or disapprove...
A large majority of Virginians said they did not have enough information to approve or disapprove of the state budget that was passed during the most recent General Assembly special session. (Getty Images)

More than 8 in 10 Virginians (81%) said they did not have enough information to approve or disapprove of the state budget that was passed during the most recent General Assembly special session, according to the new statewide Commonwealth Poll conducted by the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University. 

“The poll reflects an overwhelming majority of Virginians feel that the government has not provided information on how their taxpayer dollars are being spent,” said former Gov. L. Douglas Wilder.

Additionally, 49% of Virginians approve of the level of transparency with which Northam has spent federal resources for the pandemic while 36% disapprove. Democrats and minorities are more likely to approve with 80% and 61% respectively. Those in Tidewater region and Northern Virginia are also more likely to approve with 62% and 60%, compared to 45% in the Northwest, 38% in the South Central and 30% of those in the West region.

The Winter 2021 Commonwealth Poll involved telephone interviews with a representative sample of 827 adults, age 18 or older, living in Virginia. Interviews were conducted by landline (413) and cellphone (414, including 254 without a landline) from Dec 11-30. The margin of error for the complete set of weighted data is 5.39 percentage points.

For the full poll results and analysis, visit https://oppo.vcu.edu/policy-poll/.

About VCU and VCU Health

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 30,000 students in 233 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Twenty-two of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 11 schools and three colleges. The VCU Health brand represents the VCU health sciences academic programs, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, and MCV Physicians. The clinical enterprise includes a collaboration with Sheltering Arms Institute for physical rehabilitation services. For more, please visit www.vcu.edu and vcuhealth.org.

About the Wilder School and the Center for Public Policy

The L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, named for the nation’s first African-American elected governor, is a top-50 nationally ranked public affairs school. Located blocks from the state Capitol in Richmond, Virginia, the school enrolls about 1,000 undergraduates and 400 graduate students in eight academic programs. The Wilder School’s 10,000-plus alumni work across the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Drawing on the wide-ranging expertise of Wilder School faculty, the Center for Public Policy's programs provide diverse public-facing services including leadership development and training, economic and policy impact analysis, survey insights and program evaluation to clients in state and local governments, nonprofit organizations, businesses and the general public, across Virginia and beyond. For more, please visit https://wilder.vcu.edu/center-for-public-policy/.