How free is your state? - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Does the state you live in have enough freedom?

(FOX19) -

Does the state you live in provide you enough freedom in your life?

According to a new study, the answer may depend on where you live.

George Mason University ranked all 50 states on how their public policies impact individual freedoms in economic, social and personal areas.

Indiana ranked third in the nation in having public policies that allow individuals freedom. Kentucky finished 32nd, and Ohio 42nd.

Indiana got a high ranking because it has deregulated natural gas, telecom and cable. It licenses the fewest occupations in the country as a percentage of its workforce. The study also finds that Indiana has good education laws with very light regulation of home and private schools.

Kentucky's ranking involves a mixed bag. On the one hand, cigarette and spirits taxes are low,  which is considered good as it relates to the study. On the other hand, beer and wine taxes are high. Also, home and private school laws are fairly liberal.

In Ohio, spending and taxation are higher than average.  And the following factors that caused that 42nd ranking. That includes spending more than average on financial administration at the state level, and judicial and legal administration at the local level.

On the flip side, Ohio's freedom ranking was boosted by the recent passing of the law that allows those with concealed carry permits to be in a drinking establishment with their weapon as long as they don't drink.

The study has a lot of locals thinking about how free they really are, especially when it comes to some of the bigger hot topics like gun control and taxes.

Bill Langdon owns the Grand Ol' Pub in West Chester. He has lived in Ohio most of his live and knows the laws like the back of his hand.

He disagrees with the study, but admits Buckeye lawmakers have hit their mark when it comes to gun control, including approving the new law, allowing customers to bring guns to bars if they don't drink.

"I know there's some controversy about carrying them into bars," said Langdon. "Knee jerk reaction is it's not a good idea in a bar but I have a number of customers who come in and eat. They don't drink. So I don't have any problems with those folks if they have a concealed carry, bringing it in here."

Many say Ohio has some work to do when it comes to taxes, though.

"Well, you know, taxes could always go down, but I didn't realize there was that much variance between states," said Ohio resident Karen Aldridge.

"At my age, I'm lucky I can still get along with whatever payments I can make. Why complain after 90 years?" said James Harold Conner.

Across the River, Kentucky residents see their state as more free, but certainly not perfect.

"I think the businesses and things like that should have free reign on whether they can smoke or not smoke," said Joshua Craig. "Same way with restaurants. They should have the free reign. Just like they had it before."

The study does make some recommendations. Number one for Ohio? Reduce taxes.

For more on the study, CLICK HERE.

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