Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Fiscal Policy Report Card on America's Governors: Are you surprised Jerry Brown was ranked among the worst?

State governments have been in an expansionary phase in recent years. Even though U.S. eco- nomic growth since the last recession has been sluggish, general fund revenues of state govern- ments have grown 33 percent since 2010. Some of the nation’s governors have used the growing revenues to expand spending programs, while others have pursued tax cuts and tax reforms.

That is the backdrop to this year’s 13th biennial s- cal report card on the governors, which examines state budget actions since 2014. It uses statistical data to grade the governors on their taxing and spending records—gov- ernors who have cut taxes and spending the most receive the highest grades, while those who have increased taxes and spending the most receive the lowest grades.

Five governors were awarded an “A” on this report: Paul LePage of Maine, Pat McCrory of North Carolina, Rick Scott of Florida, Doug Ducey of Arizona, and Mike Pence of Indiana. Ten governors were awarded an “F”: Robert Bentley of Alabama, Peter Shumlin of Vermont, Jerry Brown of California, David Ige of Hawaii, Dan Malloy of Connecticut, Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota, Brian Sandoval of Nevada, Kate Brown of Oregon, Jay Inslee of Washington, and Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania.