For Immediate Release
AUGUSTA - House Republican Leaders on Friday pointed to the newly-released Forbes Magazine ranking of the "Best States for Business" as a call to implement more pro-growth Republican reforms. Maine placed 50th for a fourth year in a row despite recent free market reforms and the study's preference for factors such as low taxes, simple regulations, and right-to-work laws.
"Business Costs," "Regulatory Environment," "Economic Climate," and "Growth Prospects" are four of six sub-rankings that are influenced positively by conservative economic policies. Two others, "Quality of Life" and "Labor Supply" are less easily manipulated by policymakers.
In the article explaining the results, Forbes cites "pro-business regulatory environments, educated workforces, and reasonable business costs" as some attributes that elevate states in the ranking. Forbes credits Virginiawhich ranked firstfor its business-friendly tort system and status as a right-to-work state.
According to Forbes, "Business Costs" are weighted most heavily of the six categories. Business Costs include labor costs, energy prices, and tax rates.
"It's certainly frustrating to seem stuck in last place, but it reminds us of how far we have to go on the road to reform," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport. "Other states are adopting these pro-growth policies as quickly or even faster than we have been here in Maine, and we have to be competitive. The study makes clear that it's Republican policies that attract jobs, not the big-government agenda of Maine's past 30-40 years."
Assistant House Republican Leader Alex Willette of Mapleton agreed.
"Some say that the Forbes ranking doesn't capture the whole picture of what makes an economy strong, and there may be some truth to that," he said, "but can anyone really doubt that Maine would be better off if we started doing the things that more economically successful states are doing? I think not. Maine's government and economy need reform, and this year's Forbes study is proof of that."
Added Fredette: "We have reason to be optimistic. We have some of the best workers in America and vast natural resources. State government has shown its ability to change, and with some persistence and strong leadership, Maine, too, can be a national leader in commerce and jobs."
Maine House Republicans
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