ALEC “Best States, Worst States” Ranks Virginia’s Economic Outlook Third Best in Country, Virginia’s Highest-Ever Ranking Report Credits Governor McDonnell for Reducing Spending to Close Budget Shortfalls
RICHMOND – The American Legislative Exchange Council has released the fourth edition of “Rich States, Poor States,” rating states in 15 categories of economic competitiveness. Virginia’s rank in “economic outlook” has improved from eighth in the nation last year to third in the report released yesterday. Virginia now holds the highest ranking east of the Mississippi River and is the only Mid-Atlantic state to rank in the top 20.
The report credits Governor McDonnell for facing Virginia’s budget shortfall head-on, saying, “One solution many governors, including Chris Christie of New Jersey, Rick Perry of Texas, and Bob McDonnell of Virginia, have implemented is to reset budget baselines to 2007 levels to reflect the “new normal” of mediocre revenue collections. We think nearly every state will need a budget reset back to 2007 or 2008 levels to avoid permanent deficits.”
Speaking on the “Best States, Worst States” report, Governor McDonnell remarked, “I am pleased to see Virginia recognized for the effectiveness of our pro-growth, pro-jobs policies. We are keeping taxes low and litigation and regulation to a minimum. We’re a right to work state and home to world class colleges and universities. In my first year in office we closed $6 billion in budget shortfalls by reducing state spending to 2006 levels and not raising taxes. That conservative approach produced a surplus last year, and we are on track for another this year as well. Our unemployment rate has fallen to 6 percent, third-lowest east of the Mississippi, and over three points lower than the national average. We are focused on helping the private sector create the good-paying jobs our citizens need and deserve. Our fiscal discipline gives us a great story to tell to CEOs and entrepreneurs looking for the best place to do business in a competitive global marketplace. Virginia is truly open for business.”
The “Rich States, Poor States, ALEC-Laffer Economic Competitiveness Index” report is available online at http://www.alec.org/AM/pdf/tax/11rsps/RSPS_4thEdition.pdf
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is the nation’s largest nonpartisan individual membership association of state legislators, with nearly 2,000 state legislators across the nation and more than 100 alumni members in Congress. ALEC’s mission is to promote free markets, individual liberty, and federalism through its model legislation in the states.