Report co-written by former Alaska price range director Arduin ranks Gov. Dunleavy 49th out of 50 governors
A report co-written by former Alaska budget director Donna Arduin ranked her former boss, Gov. Mike Dunleavy, as the second-worst governor in the country on what it calls “economic freedom.”
In a webinar on Friday announcing the report, Arduin said Dunleavy could improve his ranking by cutting state spending and working to change state policies on welfare and labor unions.
She said Alaska’s state spending as a share of the state’s economy is four times Florida’s.
“So the spending is through the roof,” she said. “Part of the reason is because of the policies, including union control; no … education choice; welfare dependency is through the roof. So he has a lot of opportunities across the board to improve his state’s economy.”
Regarding the issue of education choice, report co-author Arthur Laffer has advocated that states pay parents for private school tuition.
The report credited Dunleavy with trying to reduce spending, for not introducing an income tax, and for an attempt to end state collection of state employee union dues that’s stuck in a legal battle. But it considered cuts to Permanent Fund dividends — which the Alaska Legislature passed over Dunleavy’s objection — as a form of taxation.
Dunleavy’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.
Arduin was Alaska’s budget director for nine months after Dunleavy took office. She helped write Dunleavy’s first budget proposal, which drew criticism from lawmakers and members of the public.
She recently helped lead a two-day seminar in Alaska. Organizers said 36 Republican and Libertarian legislators and candidates attended, according to the Anchorage Daily News.
The report was published by the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, which promotes conservative state legislation.