Investigation categories

State Integrity Investigation journalists collected data in each of the following categories. See the data for your state across all the Investigation categories, or select a category for more information and to make suggestions for strengthening policy.

Access to information

What information is legally accessible in each state, and how easily can citizens get it?

Campaign finance

The financing of electoral campaigns at the federal, state and local levels.

Executive accountability

Guidelines, laws, and procedures to ensure that governors and cabinet-level officials can be held accountable for their actions.

Legislative accountability

Laws, policies, and procedures to ensure that lawmakers – who often work part-time and hold outside positions – best serve their constituencies and not their own personal political interests.

Judicial accountability

How accountable and transparent are judicial officials and their staffs?

State budgeting

Is the state budget process open to the public or conducted behind closed doors?

Civil service management

State hiring and firing regulations, nepotism and cronyism rules, whistleblower protections, and other guidelines designed to ensure a competitive, safe, and professional work environment for its employees.

Procurement

State laws governing the purchase of goods and services.

Internal auditing

State level internal auditing designed to add value and improve state government operations.

Lobbying disclosure

Laws and practices that define what lobbyists can do as they attempt to influence government actions.

Pension fund management

Most states provide a defined pension plan that promises state workers a specific annual payment once they retire from service. Each state with a pension fund has policies governing state contributions.

Ethics enforcement

Forty-one states require external oversight of their procedures through an Ethics Commission. An Ethics Commission is a committee tasked with validating the ethical grounds of the state government’s decisions.

Insurance commissions

States regulate the insurance industry to protect consumers. Regulatory structures vary – the state may appoint a commission or elect a single commissioner, for example – but the overall mandate remains the same.

Redistricting

Following each U.S. census, states re-draw the boundaries for congressional and legislative districts. 

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