Rhode Island ranks fifth nationwide in a survey of government integrity. But the rank comes with a grade of just a D+. No state scored higher than a C.
The report comes from the good-government non-profit The Center for Public Integrity. The group looked at more than 200 “indicators,” including access to public information, elections oversight, and legislative accountability. It found overall that most states are lacking on those measures.
The Rhode Island portion of the study was compiled by Mike Stanton, a former reporter for the Providence Journal. (It was edited by former Providence Phoenix news director Phil Eil.)
“I think the overarching theme is: it’s an attitude,” said Stanton. “And I think that’s reflected in the recent flaps that Governor Raimondo has had with journalists and good government groups over her administration’s response to many records requests.”
Governor Gina Raimondo sat down with reporters and good government groups last month to discuss their concerns.
Stanton added that the rank is more an indicator of systemic problems nationwide.
“If you were going to a school, and your fifth best student got a D+ you would say there’s something wrong with the school,” said Stanton. “So I think the American school of government accountability and transparency needs some help.”
Stanton says the state has decent ethics laws on the books, but a lack of enforcement.
You can read the full write-up on the Center for Public Integrity's website here.
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