HARTFORD, Conn. A new report on the integrity of state governments ranks Connecticut as one of the most open and accountable legislatures in the country, with top marks for transparency and ethics laws.
State Sen. Bob Duff, D-Norwalk, welcomed news of the State Integrity Investigation report, a project of the Center for Public Integrity, Global Integrity and Public Radio International.
Connecticut was given a B, with a score of 86, second only to New Jersey with a score of 87. This compares to a D for New York with a score of 65, a C for Massachusetts with a score of 74 and a C for Rhode Island with a 74.
"This is fantastic news for Connecticut and proof that government that operates openly and with accountability best serves its citizens," Duff said in a statement. "I believe people should have easy access to information about how taxpayer money gets spent and how their elected officials vote. While I applaud our ranking, I challenge my fellow legislators to continue to strive for even more transparent government."
Connecticut came in second for making public spending and campaign money easier to track and for having a Citizens Elections Program that enables publicly financed election campaigns.
The report touts Connecticut's creation of an online searchable database of state spending, where taxpayers can looks up how public money is spent. It also cites Connecticut's strict campaign contribution limits and restrictions on contributions by state contractors and lobbyists.
The State Integrity Investigation included a data-driven analysis of each state's laws that deal with accountability and transparency, with specific focus on topics such as campaign finance, ethics, open records and lobbying regulations.
Eight states earned failing grades of 59 or below: Michigan, North Dakota, South Carolina, Maine, Virginia, Wyoming, South Dakota and Georgia.
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