(The Center Square) – West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice ranked 33rd in a report that ranked each governor on their commitment to economic freedom and economic success, putting him in the last quarter of the country.
The report, by the Americans Legislative Exchange Council, broke their rankings into three main categories: executive policy rank, economic performance rank and fiscal policy rank. Justice ranked 18th in the nation for executive policies, but fell to 30th in fiscal policy and 47th in economic performance.
“Governor. Justice’s below-average ranking in the Governor’s Scorecard is due in large part to West Virginia’s longstanding position as a laggard of other states in economic performance in areas such as interstate migration and the quality of education,” Jonathan Williams, ALEC’s chief economist and executive vice president of policy, told Center Square.
“Governor. Justice’s ranking is also reduced by the state’s reliance on welfare — an above-average amount of state resources funding Medicaid and other welfare programs,” a Williams said “High per capita spending in West Virginia is another negative factor that is dragging Gov. Justice down the rankings. However, Gov. Justice has made impressive strides in signing a landmark bill last year on freedom of education, which was championed in the Legislature by Senator Patricia Rucker, and advocating for the elimination of a state income tax. We expect his ranking improve in the years to come.
West Virginia ranked 47th in unemployment rate, 44th in education quality, 35th in interstate migration and 34th in gross state product growth, which contributed to its poor performance economic.
The state has high per capita spending, ranking seventh and 20th for federal unemployment benefits. The state also ranked outside the top half for having slightly above average personal income tax and corporate tax. However, the state had a relatively low debt, ranking 16th in this category. These factors contributed to the ranking of state fiscal policy.
West Virginia also ranked as having the sixth highest reliance on welfare, but had the sixth highest educational freedom and least union control, leading to its rank. executive policy.
Garrett Ballengee, executive director of the Cardinal Institute of the Free Market, told The Center Square that West Virginia should pursue policies that increase economic freedom, which he says is the foundation for widespread prosperity.
“West Virginia not only competes with neighboring states and its reputation for being hostile to job creators, but also with the whole world – we are only a small part of the global economy,” said Ballengee. “West Virginia should continue to look for ways to reduce taxes, continue its efforts to reduce red tape and the size of government, and ensure a level playing field for entrepreneurs and businesses looking to expand or expand. settle in West Virginia. The narrative of history is abundantly clear that greater economic freedom equals a healthier and more prosperous society. West Virginia has made great strides in many of these areas in recent years, but it needs to double down.”
The governor’s office did not respond to a request for comment.