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Poll: San Antonians' support for workforce plan drops if it's funded by shifting aquifer protection money 

  • Flickr / Erik (HASH) Hersman
San Antonio voters strongly support local initiatives headed to the November ballot that would use sales tax revenue to fund Pre-K 4 SA, VIA Metropolitan Transit and workforce development, according to a poll released Tuesday.

However, respondents' support for the Ready to Work workforce retraining plan plummeted when they were given additional information about the source of its funding, according to a new Bexar Facts/KSAT/San Antonio Report poll.

The share of voters who said they'd support Ready to Work declined from 67% to 47% when they were told that implementing it would require moving the popular Edwards Aquifer Protection Plan under the city's general budget.

In contrast, 66% of voters in the new poll support continued use of a 1/8-cent sales tax to fund Pre-K 4 SA, while 59% support using a separate 1/8-cent sales tax to provide additional funding to VIA.

City council voted in August to free up yet another 1/8 cent of sales tax collections to fund Ready for Work, which seeks to retrain San Antonians for better job opportunities in the post-pandemic economy.

But to allocate that money, council agreed to move aquifer protection under the general budget — a move opposed by some environmentalists, who caution that the new funding source won't be as robust or reliable.

The Bexar Facts poll suggests Mayor Ron Nirenberg and supporters of Ready for Work may have a tough sales job on their hands ahead of November 3. At least for voters who read the fine print.

Stay tuned.

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January 12, 2022

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