Worst cities for dating wichita

The results are “disappointing but not surprising,” said Paula A.

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Some of that decline is because of changes to the project, such as the addition of questions asking about “open data” policies, which call on governments to publish information online in formats that are easy to download and analyze.

But the drop also reflects moves toward greater secrecy in some states.

That’s on top of Bridgegate, the sprawling scandal that began as a traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge but has led to the indictments so far of one of the governor’s aides and two of his appointees — one of whom pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges — and even to the resignations of top executives at United Airlines.

As a result of these scandals and others, New Jersey dropped to 19th place overall with a D grade. Iowa created an independent board with authority to mediate disputes when agencies reject public records requests. Terry Branstad cited the state’s previous grade from the Center when he signed the bill, and the move helped catapult Iowa to first in the nation in the category for access to information, with a C- grade (Iowa’s overall score actually dropped modestly).

Such loopholes are a common part of statehouse culture nationwide, according to the 2015 State Integrity Investigation, a data-driven assessment of state government by the Center for Public Integrity and Global Integrity.

The comprehensive probe found that in state after state, open records laws are laced with exemptions and part-time legislators and agency officials engage in glaring conflicts of interests and cozy relationships with lobbyists.Unlike many other examinations of the issue, the project does not attempt to measure corruption itself.The 2015 grades are based on 245 questions that ask about key indicators of transparency and accountability, looking not only at what the laws say, but also how well they’re enforced or implemented.Since State Integrity’s first go-round, at least 12 states have seen their legislative leaders or top cabinet-level officials charged, convicted or resign as a result of ethics or corruption-related scandal. No state has outdone New York, where 14 lawmakers have left office since the beginning of 2012 due to ethical or criminal issues, according to a count by Citizens Union, an advocacy group.That does not include the former leaders of both the Assembly and the Senate, who were charged in unrelated corruption schemes earlier this year but remain in office.“I think it’s up to me to decide if you can have my record,” one representative said.

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