States React to High Rankings from CEOs

There have been many reactions to the release of Chief Executive magazine's Best/Worst States for Business 2011. Here, top-scorers react to their rankings and make goals for the future. Florida Governor Rick Scott even warns Texas Governor Rick Perry, "watch your back." Florida's aim: to take the top spot next year.

Chief Executive magazine’s Best/Worst States for Business issue has many government leaders, organizations and publications full of pride. The states that work hard to create an environment where business leaders want to be deserve to give themselves a big pat on the back. And in one case, Texas is issued a warning for the future: the Lonestar state should hold on tight to its place at the top.  Here’s what they had to say:

Coming soon: the reactions of America’s worst states for business


Governor Rick Perry: “Texas’ top ranking as the best state for business for seven years running by CEOs across the nation is a testament to our successful model for job creation and economic prosperity,” said Texas Governor Rick Perry. “I am proud of our state’s accomplishments and remain committed to upholding principles like low taxes, restrained spending, reasonable regulations and a fair legal system, which have made Texas the best state in the nation to live, work, raise a family and start a business.” Full release here

North Carolina

Governor Bev Purdue: “Our transition from industries like furniture, textiles and tobacco to knowledge-based jobs in banking, high-tech and pharmaceuticals is possible because our workers are well-educated and well-trained. There is no doubt that if we continue to make education a priority, we will continue to lead the south – and the country – out of this recession.” Full release here

Secretary of Commerce Keith Crisco: “North Carolina workers are 10 percent more productive than the average U.S. worker. Combine that with leadership that makes strategic investments in infrastructure and technology and it’s no surprise that we land at the top of the list time and time again.” Full release here


Governor Rick Scott issues warning to Texas Governor Rick Perry: “I must tell you: Seven years is long enough…And with all we are doing to make Florida number one in job creation, I am certain Texas’ days at the top are numbered. Florida is eliminating job killing regulation, reducing the size and cost of government, and making sure we have the best educated workforce.  We have no personal income tax and are phasing out the business tax, starting with eliminating it entirely for half the business that paid it. Florida is definitely on the road to be number one. Thank you for giving us the motivation we needed.” Full letter here


Secretary of Commerce and CEO of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. Mitch Roob: “This ranking is a validation of the work that Gov. (Mitch) Daniels and the General Assembly are doing to make Indiana the best possible place to do business… Amazon’s major investment announcement this week tells us that above all else, business climate matters and the pay-off for Hoosiers is new jobs and investment.” Full article here


Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb (also serves as the Secretary of Small Business): “Our new ranking and policies that have already been passed by this legislature illustrate the reality that Oklahoma is on the cusp of a renaissance. Oklahoma is making a name for itself nationwide.  We are sending a message to all employers saying if you want a business-friendly climate that will allow your company to thrive, come to Oklahoma… We must focus on policy that will remove impediments to growth, encourage existing companies to reinvest in Oklahoma, and make our state so attractive, other companies want to relocate here… Meaningful comprehensive workers’ compensation reform will reduce costs and streamline the process that should result in lower premiums for businesses throughout Oklahoma.” Full release here


The Wall Street Journal: “The Wisconsin jump is especially notable because Mr. Walker and a new GOP legislature only took office in January. This suggests Big Labor’s attempt to make Mr. Walker a national political target had the ironic result of making Wisconsin more appealing to business executives…CEOs don’t make investment decisions based solely on such impressions, but they can get a state a hearing it might not have previously received.” Full article here

Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel Op-Ed: “Perception isn’t everything, but it does count for something — and the perception of Wisconsin as a good place to do business is on the upswing, according to some. It’s also probably no coincidence that this upswing has occurred on Scott Walker’s watch as governor…And although developer Gary Grunau was critical of Walker on a number of issues, he also gave the governor an A at that same conference for reining in the cost of doing business in Wisconsin. These are important measures of the state’s ability to keep and attract business, which translates into jobs for families that need them. And Walker deserves a healthy amount of the credit for that change.” Full article here


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