…That’s the good news in the Better Government Association’s latest “Integrity Index” report.
The bad news?
Illinois scored a paltry 68.5 percent out of 100. Overall, not one state had an integrity index mark higher than 70 percent, and the national average was a meager 55 percent. Rhode Island had the best score at 69.77 percent, while Delaware was the worst, 49.13 percent.
The report evaluates and ranks all states, and found that none passed a “basic test of integrity” that focused on the accessibility of government data.
Illinois’ rating is the equivalent of a ‘D plus’ or ‘C minus,’ according to the report.
Illinois fared slightly better in the stackup of whistleblower protection law, coming in 14th place with a score of 72.9 percent on a scale measuring how safe it is to speak out against an employer. But we’re in the bottom half of the country on conflict of interest laws, our lowest score, which ranks us 27th nationally at 66.2 percent. (This likely won’t shock Chicagoans.)
BGA President Andy Shaw did cite one recent transparency victory as a source of optimism for Illinois’ continued improvement:
[T]he recent allegations made in a memo to Metra board members from former Metra CEO Alex Clifford, which was released last week. According to the memo, Clifford alleged that House Speaker Michael Madigan asked him to boost the pay of one of his campaign workers and also hire another pal. Clifford is set to testify before the Regional Transportation Authority Wednesday regarding various allegations made in the memo.