Key findings from the 2015 State Integrity Investigation

Key findings:

  • Alaska earns top spot in the State Integrity Investigation ranking of state transparency and accountability, with a C grade and score of 76. Only two others earn better than a D+; 11 states receive failing grades. Michigan is last.
  • State open records laws are riddled with loopholes; many states exempt entire branches of government and use high fees and lengthy delays to suppress controversial material.
  • Most ethics entities are toothless and underfunded. In two out of three states they routinely fail to initiate investigations or impose sanctions when necessary.
  • Many part-time state lawmakers operate with glaring conflicts of interest. In 7 of 10 states, legislators at least occasionally vote on bills that could present a conflict.
  • States score well in several categories, with 29 earning a B- or better for auditing practices and 17 scoring a B- or above for budget transparency.