Ethics in Government… N.J. is #1, while N.Y. is #36

The Better Government Association (BGA), an independent, non-partisan government watchdog group, released the 2008 edition of their BGA-Alper Integrity Index. This publication ranks all fifty states on the strength of their laws relating to transparency, ethics, and accountability in government.

Specifically, this index rates the performance of the states in the following five areas of law:

open records
whistleblower protections
campaign finance
open meetings
conflicts of interest

The top five states in the ranking, in order, are New Jersey, Rhode Island, Hawaii, Washington and Louisiana.
The bottom five states in reverse order are South Dakota(50), Vermont, Alabama, Tennessee and Montana.

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