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Poll: Most want to keep Michigan item pricing law

6:21 PM, Jan 27, 2011   |    comments
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LANSING, Mich. (Detroit Free Press) -- Michigan voters are positive about new Gov. Rick Snyder, a poll shows, but the honeymoon doesn't extend to one of Snyder's most specific proposals so far - repealing Michigan's 33-year-old item pricing law.

A slim majority want to keep the law, which Snyder wants to eliminate. Michigan has the nation's most stringent law to require retailers to mark the price on virtually every item they sell. A bill was introduced in the Legislature today to repeal the mandatory pricing part of the law but retain other consumer protections.

In his State of the State address, Snyder called the law antiquated, citing a study that says retailers pay $2 billion annually to meet its requirements.

The poll of 600 voters by EPIC/MRA of Lansing showed 51% wanting to keep the law and 39% supporting its repeal. The margin stayed the same after arguments from supporters and opponents of repeal were read to respondents.

The survey, released to the Free Press, also showed 59% of Michiganders have a favorable opinion of Snyder and, for the first time in several years, a solid plurality - 43% - who say Michigan is headed in the right direction. About 34% say the state is on the wrong track and 23% didn't have an opinion.

The groups who most strongly support keeping the law: women, African Americans, union members, voters over age 55 and Democrats.

Those who most want to get rid of it: Republicans, Macomb County voters and those whose incomes rose in 2010.

With the Legislature controlled by the GOP, the item pricing law's days appear numbered.


By Chris Christoff, Detroit Free Press Lansing Bureau Chief

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