Low taxes, school choice help rank Best Governors—Gov. Lee made the list

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Low taxes, school choice help rank Best Governors—Gov. Lee made the list

(The Center Square) – Nine Republicans and one Democrat made the American Legislative Exchange Council’s list of 2021’s 10 best governors in a new report on economic freedom. 

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis – all Republicans – were the top three governors in the country, according to the joint report by the American Legislative Exchange Council and Economist Arthur Laffer & Associates.

The “2021 Laffer-ALEC Report on Economic Freedom: Grading America’s 50 Governors” ranked each governor on their current economic performance and their fiscal and executive policies over their term in office. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, and Idaho Gov. Brad Little, a Republican, rounded out the top five. The others who made the top ten were Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (6), New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (7), Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (8), Georgia Brian Kemp (9) and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (10).

The bottom 10 were all Democrats: Michigan Gretchen Whitmer (41), Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (42), Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (43), Hawaii Gov. David Ige (44), New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (45), former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (46), Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (47), California Gov. Gavin Newsom (48), Rhode Island Gov. Daniel McKee (49), and lastly New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (50).

The report ranked governors based on three broad categories: Executive policies, economic performance and fiscal policy. Executive policies include union control, education freedom and welfare dependency. Economic performance included a range of metrics including interstate migration, education quality, Gross State Product growth and unemployment rate. Fiscal policy included debt, corporate income tax, personal income tax, government spending per capita and federal unemployment benefits. The metrics were different than the group’s 2020 report, which focused more heavily on COVID-19 lockdown policies, said Jonathan Williams, ALEC’s chief economist and contributor to the report. The American Legislative Exchange Council is a nonpartisan organization of state legislators focused on limited government, free markets and federalism. 

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