(The Center Square) – New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham ranks 43rd in the country for her policies regarding economic freedom.
The American Legislative Exchange Council released its first governors ranking, the 2020 Laffer-ALEC Report on Economic Freedom. The scorecard ranked America’s 50 governors based on economic policy performance and executive leadership before and after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Taking over from former Governor Susanna Martinez after her inauguration in 2019, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham reversed much of the fiscally conservative policy championed by former Gov. Martinez," the report states.
Each governor was awarded an overall rank, a results rank and a policy rank. While Lujan Grisham ranked 43rd overall, she ranked 49th for policy decisions and 33rd for results.
"In Gov. Grisham’s first term, New Mexico saw the highest spending increase of any state," the report states. "Gov. Grisham also signed into law numerous tax increases, such as levying the gross receipts tax on internet sales and hospitals, increasing the excise tax rate on vehicles and adding a new personal income tax bracket to be paid primarily by job creators."
ALEC also criticized Lujan Grisham for not using the new revenue from the tax increases to pay down the state's debt and for her restrictive policies during the coronavirus pandemic.
"Increasing spending funded by higher taxes all while ignoring a growing debt problem contribute to Gov. Grisham ranking the seventh-lowest out of any American governor," the report continues. "Gov. Grisham also enacted some of the most extreme COVID lockdown measures that have significantly harmed individuals and businesses."
Larry Behrens, western states director for Power the Future, a national nonprofit organization that advocates for American energy jobs, said Lujan Grisham's policy choices are hurting New Mexico families.
"This report simply highlights the fact Governor Lujan Grisham continues to make economic decisions that are harmful to New Mexico’s families," Behrens said. "Not only has the governor demanded New Mexico be among the most locked-down states, she has also delivered an unemployment rate that ranks in the top ten."
New Mexico has the eighth highest unemployment rate on the country in part because of government restrictions put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.
"To make matters worse, the governor agrees with [Democratic presidential nominee] Joe Biden on his disastrous plan to transition away from fossil fuels, which will no doubt destroy thousands of jobs and cost our state billions in revenue," Behrens added. "When you look at all the facts, a ranking of 43 may be too kind."