A new national survey ranks Washington fourth in the nation for governmental integrity, openness and accountability – and Idaho 44th. The survey, conducted by the Chicago-based Better Government Association, compared open records laws, open meeting laws, whistleblower laws, campaign finance requirements and conflict-of-interest laws, to create a government “integrity index.”
Idaho scored particularly poorly for its open meeting and conflict of interest laws. As one of just four states with no requirement for state legislators to disclose their personal finances, Idaho tied for last place with a zero score in the conflict-of-interest category, while Washington was ranked first in the nation. Idaho ranked 44th for its open meeting law. Idaho state Sen. Mike Jorgenson, R-Hayden Lake, said, “I think we need to stop and do a little introspective, and ask ourselves what’s going on.” Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said he’s looking at improvements to Idaho’s open meeting law. You can read my full story here at spokesmanreview.com, and here’s a link to the full survey.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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