Illinois Gets By With A C In Corruption Study
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — Chicago was recently deemed the most corrupt city in the nation, and deposed Gov. Rod Blagojevich last week became the second consecutive governor in prison for corruption convictions.
Still, Illinois received a C in a study rating corruption in states across the country – in which 18 states received D’s and eight more received F’s. The investigation was conducted by the Center for Public Integrity, Global Integrity and Public Radio International, Reuters reported.
In the study, Illinois received a C in a four-way tie for 10th nationwide, with Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Hawaii.
No state got an A in the survey. The states receiving B’s were New Jersey, Connecticut, Washington state, California and Nebraska, Reuters reported. The eight states with failing grades were North Dakota, Michigan, South Carolina, Maine, Virginia, Wyoming, South Dakota, and coming in last, Georgia.
New Jersey ranked at the top with a B+ despite its historic reputation for corruption. The study says New Jersey now has a reputation for some of the nation’s toughest anti-corruption and ethics laws.
Georgia ranked last in part because of 658 state workers accepted perks such as sports tickets and expensive meals over a period of two years, but no vendors were fined for failing to disclose such gifts in two years, Reuters reported.
In another study on transparency, Illinois is in the middle of the pack. The Public Interest Research Group conducted that study, “Following the Money 2012,” by examining state governments’ web sites to determine how easy it is to find information about public expenditures.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Dahl reports
“It’s not easy to download the information and be able to compare the data,” Illinois PIRG director Brian Imus says of Illinois’ information. “There also isn’t a way to link from the web site on how state dollars are being spent to city and county budget data as well. Some other states already do that, and Illinois should do the same.”
Imus says there is one very bright spot for Illinois: “We are currently the only state that provides information on both the projected benefits and the actual benefits created from economic development subsidies,” he said.
Imus says the places in which Illinois fell down in the report were mainly in how easy it is to get the information online.