WASHINGTON – The Ocean State earned a “C” rating from the Center for Public Integrity’s State Integrity Investigation.
The report averaged scores for criteria such as information access laws, state budget transparency, campaign finance, accountability in the three branches of government, civil service management, audits, pensions, lobbying and ethics enforcement to give states a final report card grade.
While Rhode Island’s score of 74 tied it for 10th place in the nation with Massachusetts, Hawaii and Illinois, the Ocean State lagged in judicial accountability and state civil service management – earning an “F” in those categories.
Rhode Island received an “A” in redistricting and three “B+s” in internal auditing, political financing and the public procurement process.
“Strides have been made, but more progress is needed to rid state government of its “I know a guy” mentality,” said the Center for Public Integrity’s Mike Stanton in his article “Rhode Island: The story behind the numbers.”
Under the formula used by the public watchdog agency, no states received an “A” grade, and New Jersey scored best with a “B+”. Connecticut, Washington, California and Nebraska joined New Jersey in the top five with scores in the “B” range.
Nineteen states received “C” grades and 18 received “Ds.” North Dakota, Michigan, South Carolina, Maine, Virginia, Wyoming, South Dakota and Georgia received failing grades.