Open records laws with hundreds of exemptions. Budget decisions made behind closed doors. Ethics panels that haven’t met in years.
Those are among the examples of corruption risk we found in the State Integrity Investigation, an unprecedented examination of America’s state capitols. The bottom line? Not a single state earned an A grade in the year-long investigation. Half the states earned D’s or F’s. Find out what your state is doing right and wrong. See your state’s report card.
Some states are making progress toward cleaning up their capitols. Yet many states’ anti-corruption laws are riddled with loopholes or barely enforced. Read an article on the Investigation's findings by Caitlin Ginley of the Center for Public Integrity.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia has rolled out another in a series of attempts to repair the state’s broken reputation, creating a commission to focus on ethics and accountability in government.
The move comes in the wake of the conviction of former Gov. Robert F. McDonnell, McAuliffe’s predecessor, on corruption charges stemming from gifts he accepted while in office. In a press conference announcing the panel on Thursday, McAuliffe, a Democrat, implicitly acknowledged the case and also cited the state’s failing grade in the Center for Public Integrity’s State Integrity Investigation, calling the grade “one of the many warnings the state has received on its mediocre record on accountability and transparency.” McAuliffe’s action also represents a tacit acknowledgment that reform efforts undertaken by the legislature earlier this year were inadequate.