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Washington in Top Five of Least Corrupt States

Washington State Gov. Chris Gregoire Signs Marriage Equality Legislation Into Law
Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Government and Integrity aren’t usually found in the same sentence…but both are the subject of this new report.  How well are the states doing on fighting corruption in government?

The Center for Public Integrity recently released a report detailing the risk of corruption and lack of accountability in all 50 states. No state is without flaws and nearly every state received a grade that would give residents cause for concern. Georgia came out the worst….and New Jersey—believe it or not—came out best.

But sitting there, smack dab in the middle of the top five at number three, is Washington State.  Yea for our team!

States were graded on 330 separate metrics, which were grouped into 14 major categories. Overall grades are based on the average grades in the major categories, which included lobbying disclosure, political financing, internal auditing, ethics enforcement agencies and redistricting.

 Here’s what the survey had to say about the evergreen state.

 3. Washington
> Overall Grade: B- (83%)
> Public access to information: B-
> Legislative accountability: B+
> Political financing: C+
> Ethics enforcement agencies: B-

Washington stands out among states for its exemplary level of transparency. In 1972, the state was the first to pass a Public Records Act, which is a series of laws intended to guarantee public access to public records of government bodies at all levels. The state has strict ethics laws and campaign disclosure laws, and an Open Public Meetings Act that requires transparency. The state’s judiciary are elected directly by citizens at all levels. State legislature committee meetings and floor action are open to the public and often featured on state television. However, recent budget cutbacks have had an impact on many types of disclosure or ethics investigations, the State Integrity Investigation notes.

 Now, if they could just get their work done on time without a special session and get serious about balancing a budget..oh well, that’s another post.  We’re Number Three…We’re Number Three….

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