As a Midwestern state with a characteristically stable economy, Nebraska did not suffer as badly as some states during the Great Recession. But the global crisis hurt demand for the state's agricultural products. Gov. Dave Heineman was midway through his first full term when the crisis hit. He has made tax reform a priority, with mixed success. Nebraska's regulatory climate had already made strides in our rankings, rising to sixth place from 28th in 2008. It has continued to improve and now ranks third.