- Most Free
- Least Free
- #22 Overall
- #22 Economic
- #25 Personal
- Change in overall freedom, 2007–2009:
- Change in overall freedom ranking since 2007:
- Net domestic migration, 2000–2009 (% of 2000 population):
- Governor, 2011:
- Jan Brewer (R)
- Legislature, 2011:
- House 40R/20D, Senate 21R/9D
Arizona is decent on both economic (#22) and personal (#26) freedom, ending up at number 22 overall, but dropping nine places from 2007. The state does particularly well on gun laws, alcohol regulations and taxes, home- and private-school regulations, labor laws, and its liability system, but it has changed dramatically for the worse in government spending, smoking bans, the taking of DNA from some felony arrestees without a conviction, and employer verification of legal-resident status. As of this writing, Arizona’s “clean elections” law is under judicial review. Although of course not appearing in our index, Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s antics have attracted unfavorable nationwide attention.36 Also not covered by the period of our index is the controversial stopand-identify law.
36: Radley Balko, “Sheriff Joe’s Enabler,” Reason.com, January 19, 2010, http://reason.com/archives/2010/01/19/sheriff-joes-enabler, accessed December 6, 2010; Craig Harris and Yvonne Wingett, “Anti-Arpaio Protesters Awarded Settlement from 2008 Arrests,” AZCentral.com, July 9, 2010, http://www.azcentral.com/news/election/azelections/articles/2010/07/09/20100709arpaio-protesters-settlement.html, accessed December 6, 2010; and “America’s Worst Sheriff (Joe Arpaio),” The Board Blog, NYTimes.com, December 31, 2008
- Spending on “protective inspection and regulation,” electric power, and transit has increased dramatically, by almost 50 percent in two years in nominal terms. Cut these areas first.
- If the clean elections law is overturned, as seems likely, do not replace it.
- Civil liberties are becoming a concern in Arizona. The state should establish stronger guidelines for local law enforcement and consider repealing the statutes that allow for abuse
State Freedom Calculator
You know how free your state is today, but how free could it be in the future? Here are four policies from each area of the index--fiscal, regulatory, and paternalist--that allow you to play policy maker. Select from the options below and observe as your state's rankings in economic, personal, and overall freedom will be recalculated in real time and your state's ranking will rise or fall depending on your choices.