The Mercatus Center at George Mason University each year measures “freedom” in each state. While Colorado’s overall score (19) is in the middle, the analysis of the state points out that “its freedom score is one of the “most worsened” in the country over the 2001 to 2011 period.” From 2009 alone, Colorado’s rank has slipped 12 points – from #7 most free to #19.
It’s worth noting in the graph below that Colorado’s decline really began in 2007, which coincidentally or not was when Bill Ritter became Governor.
The reasons for the low scores are cited in the analysis video below and include its high state government spending and tax burden, which increased from 8.3 to 9.6% over four years. Over the last decade, the state has dropped from #7 to #21 in terms of fiscal policy. Additionally, “half-hearted” eminent domain reform and highly regulated telecom industries also drove the score lower.
After this year’s legislative session, we can’t even imagine how the score will fall. Afterall, 14,000 pages of new regulations in the state in just half of a legislative session doesn’t bode well for Coloradans’ freedoms. Nor does the Bloomberg/Biden gun grab.