Rhode Island ranks highly, but barely manages to pass State Integrity Investigation

Providence, November 9, 2015 – The Center for Public Integrity has once again ranked all fifty states for their efforts in government reform. Rhode Island moved up from a 9th place ranking in 2012 into 5th place in 2015. “This ranking demonstrates the huge effort and decades of work that has been put into reforming our state government in the last three decades,” says John Marion, executive director of the government reform group Common Cause. Marion continues, “Even though we rank 5th in the nation, Rhode Island still receives a D+ indicating that despite the decades of effort, much work remains.”

The survey, conducted in Rhode Island by former Providence Journal investigative reporter Mike Stanton, assess “the systems in place to deter corruption in state government.” Rhode Island scores high for Ethics Enforcement Agencies, Public Access to Information, State Civil Service Management and Judicial Accountability, among other areas. The report card gives the Ocean State bad grades for Electoral Oversight, the State Budget Process, and Internal Auditing.

“This report card highlights several areas where we need to improve our laws,” according to Marion. “Whether it’s the former Speaker of the House skimming off his campaign account, or last minute amendments to the state budget stripping low- income seniors of RIPTA passes, the citizens of Rhode Island suffer when these laws aren’t working properly.” Recent efforts by Common Cause and others to encourage state agencies to comply with the state’s open records law, and to spur enforcement of the state’s campaign finance laws by the Board of Elections, illustrate the need to constant vigilance, even in areas where Rhode Island is highly ranked.

The full report can be found here:

http://www.publicintegrity.org/2015/11/09/18822/how-does-your-state-rank-integrity

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