Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson ranked 23rd in a new report on economic freedom from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and economist Arthur Laffer.
The report, which was released Tuesday, ranked the 50 governors in executive policy, economic performance and fiscal policy.
Hutchinson, a Republican, ranked 12th for executive policy, which included union control, education freedom and welfare dependency. He ranked first for educational freedom.
The governor ranked 38th in economic performance, receiving low marks for education quality, where he ranked 46th, and gross state product growth, where he was listed at 41st. Also measured in the economic performance category is interstate migration and the unemployment rate.
The authors of the report ranked Hutchinson 15th in fiscal policy, which included the corporate income tax, personal income tax, spending per capita and federal unemployment benefits. Hutchinson acknowledged the challenges of the post-COVID-19-pandemic labor market in the report.
“As we emerge from Covid-19, retail and service companies, restaurants and industry are attempting to return to pre-pandemic employment levels, but employees are as scarce today as jobs were a year ago,” Hutchinson said.
The governor ranked fifth in income tax. Arkansas lawmakers returned to Little Rock in December to approve a reduction in the state’s income tax rate, which will drop from 5.9% to 4.9% over the next four years. The bill signed by Hutchinson is the largest income tax cut in state history.
Hutchinson began his tenure as governor in 2015 and won a second term, which began in 2019. He is term-limited and cannot run again. Before becoming governor, Hutchinson served three terms in the U.S. House.
South Dakota Kristi Noem took the top spot in the rankings. Rounding out the top 10 were Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, Idaho Gov. Brad Little, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. All of the top 10 are Republicans except Polis, who is a Democrat.
The governors at the bottom of the list were Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, Hawaii Gov. David Ige, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Rhode Island Gov. Daniel McKee and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who was ranked last.
This article was originally posted on Hutchinson 23rd in ALEC’s ranking of best, worst governors