Laffer-ALEC Governors Scorecard Empowers Citizens to Hold Leaders Accountable







  Laffer-ALEC Governors Scorecard Empowers Citizens to Hold Leaders Accountable


‘Every American deserves an efficient, effective and accountable government that puts the people in control.’


Arlington, Va. – (March 22, 2022) The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) today released the 2021 Laffer-ALEC Report on Economic FreedomGrading America’s 50 Governors. This report is the second annual scorecard ranking America’s 50 governors based on policy performance and result, as well as executive leadership.

“Every American deserves an efficient, effective and accountable government that puts the people in control,” said Reagan Economist Dr. Arthur B. Laffer. “The Governors Scorecard informs the citizenry of how well their governors are doing relative to all governors and ensures they have fact-based, nonpartisan information to help them either vote with their ballot or with their feet.”

Each governor is awarded an overall rank, a results rank and a policy rank, which is expanded to list the exact criteria used so readers can clearly identify how their state leader stacks up and why.

Governors, state lawmakers and taxpayers can use the 12 criteria to determine state policy areas that need improvement, such as corporate and personal income taxes, education quality and freedom, welfare dependency and economic competitiveness data.

This ranking shows that well-managed states and budgets have significantly helped states such as South Dakota (#1), Utah (#2), and Florida (#3).

“No state budget is managed like the other, but that’s because of the diversity in our states’ needs,” said Former Budget Director for Michigan, New York, Florida, California, Illinois and Alaska Donna Arduin. “That is why objective and nonpartisan data is critical to compare state leaders’ performances, built and backed up by empirical criteria. Any person should be able to see how their governor has led across the board without bias or agenda, and this scorecard’s methodology was designed to do just that.”

        Overall Governors Rankings for 2021

2021 Governor Report_Cover_Final.jpg

The top ten and bottom ten governors for 2021 

Top Ten
Bottom Ten
  1. Kristi Noem, S.D.
41. Gretchen Whitmer, Mich.
  1. Spencer Cox, Utah
42. Ned Lamont, Conn.
  1. Ron DeSantis, Fla.
43. Tom Wolf, Pa.
  1. Jared Polis, Colo.
44. David Ige, Hawaii
  1. Brad Little, Idaho
  2. Bill Lee, Tenn.
45. Phil Murphy, N.J.
  1. Chris Sununu, N.H.
46. Andrew Cuomo, N.Y.
  1. Doug Ducey, Ariz.
47. J.B. Pritzker, Ill.
  1. Brian Kemp, Ga.
48. Gavin Newsom, Calif.
  1. Greg Abbott, Texas
49. Daniel McKee, R.I.
50. Michelle Lujan Grisham, N.M.


“We believe that states are the 50 laboratories of democracy,” said ALEC CEO Lisa B. Nelson. “From our governors we learn what works and what doesn’t work. Top-ranked governors tend to  have lower taxes, adopt policies encouraging domestic energy production, seek to empower individuals and families as opposed to empowering government bureaucracies. Their states also had lower unemployment and less welfare dependency.”

Nelson noted that, “In contrast, low-ranked governors tend to have restrictive energy production policies, higher taxes, unsustainable and underfunded state pensions, high unemployment and high welfare dependency. The low-ranked governors had top-down government control policies and attempted to grow government through federal funds.”

The scorecard is authored by Reagan Economist Dr. Arthur B. Laffer, lead researcher Donna Arduin, economic policy expert Stephen Moore and ALEC Chief Economist Jonathan Williams. The authors intend this report to serve as a guide for consumers as they make decisions about their state’s future.



The American Legislative Exchange Council is the largest nonpartisan, voluntary membership organization of state legislators in the United States. The Council is governed by state legislators who comprise the Board of Directors and is advised by the Private Enterprise Advisory Council, a group of private, foundation and think tank members. For more information about the American Legislative Exchange Council, please visit:

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