Where Virginia, Maryland stand in rankings of state corruption

WASHINGTON — Maryland and Virginia score Ds, but are showing improvement in a state-by-state ranking of corruption and integrity problems.

The study by the Center for Public Integrity and Global Integrity graded states in 13 categories, ranging from political financing, to executive accountability, to procurement, to state civil service management.

According to the study, reported by USA Today, the least-corrupt state is Alaska, which only scored a C.

Although 11 states got Fs, the worst score goes to Michigan. According to the Center, Michigan’s state government is built on “an honor system with no honor.”

Locally, Virginia and Maryland both scored Ds, but each was credited with recent changes to deal with past problems.

Virginia ranks 16th in the assessment of systems in place to deter corruption in state government. Maryland ranks 23rd.

In the wake of former Gov. Bob McDonnell’s conviction on federal corruption charges, Virginia ranked 2nd in the country for procurement, 3rd in state civil service management, 4th in judicial accountability and electoral oversight.

The state legislature’s passage of first limits on gifts for politicians and their family members, and establishment of an ethics council to collect and publish disclosure forms for all branches of government were cited as steps toward transparency.

Maryland was criticized for its missteps in implementing the Affordable Care Act.

“Maryland’s disastrous health exchange roll out combined two elements — procurement problems and lack of transparency,” according to the rankings.

However, Maryland scored relatively well in lobbying disclosure, procurement, state budget processes, and electoral oversight.

See the Center for Public Integrity and Global Integrity’s state-by-state breakdown here.

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