Fiscal

Governor Mills among the most fiscally irresponsible governors in America

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Last week, the Cato Institute released the newest edition of its Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors. The institute’s biennial publication, the 15th of its kind, rates state governors on their fiscal responsibility, including taxation and government spending policies.

Governors receive high marks in the report for cutting taxes and spending, while governors who raise taxes and increase spending the most receive lower honors. The 2020 report examines the fiscal policies of America’s governors since 2018.

In previous years, former Maine Gov. Paul LePage ranked among the highest in the nation, receiving an “A” grade every time his policies were reviewed by Cato. In its 2020 report, the institute gave Gov. Janet Mills a “D” grade, finishing 38th overall among the nation’s 50 governors.

“Mills has a tough act to follow because her predecessor, Paul LePage, earned an A all four times he was graded on the Cato fiscal report. Governor Mills scores poorly because of her support for substantial spending increases. The general fund budget rose 5.8 percent in 2020, with large increases for education and health care,” the report reads.

Cato also questioned Governor Mills’ decision to implement Medicaid expansion on her first day in the Blaine House.

“On her first day in office, Mills approved the expansion of Medicaid under the [Affordable Care Act], which LePage had resisted agreeing to. Medicaid expansion will cost about $146 million over the first two years.”

Meanwhile, Gov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire received an “A” grade from Cato and scored the highest among America’s governors. Gov. Sununu earned high marks for keeping general fund spending “close to flat” in the Granite State during his time in office and for fighting against new tax increases that would “destroy the New Hampshire advantage.”

To view the full report, click here.

About Jacob Posik

Jacob Posik, of Turner, is the director of communications at Maine Policy Institute and the editor of The Maine Wire. He formerly served as a policy analyst at Maine Policy. Posik can be reached at jposik@mainepolicy.org.

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