How Much Integrity Does Wyoming’s Government Have?
In an investigative report from the Center for Public Integrity, they gave a letter grade to each state on their integrity. The idea being how well each state does in regards to accountability and transparency. The report wanted to see what laws or protocols were in place to avoid corruption. Wyoming was ranked #49 with a big F with only Michigan scoring lower. The investigation took into consideration numerous factors including public access to information, political financing, electoral oversight, lobbying disclosure, ethics enforcement agencies, and more. Only three states passed this test with a grade higher than a D+.
There are few laws infringing on personal liberties in Wyoming, and the statutes that the state does have can be decidedly vague. Bureaucracy and intrusive government are frowned upon here, privacy prized. As a result, open meetings and public records laws, as well as disclosure requirements for campaigns, elected officials and lobbyists are purposefully weak.
Wyoming was given an A ranked the 3rd best for State Budget Processes. That means the Cowboy state does a good job in being transparent and fare with the state’s budget. As well as keeping the voters informed, and the state gives voters a chance to speak and vote.
The Equality State did score on the very bottom in regards to public access to information. There is no legal right to access information or a defended way to request information or appeal rejections. The report said:
Wyoming statute gives citizens the right to access government information in a general sense, but the law specifically exempts the state legislature and the entire judicial branch. And there seem to be many remaining gray areas in regard to what is or isn’t considered public record.
The State Integrity Investigation had over 245 questions and over 1200 data points, so check out each category on the full report. Please leave your comments and thoughts below. If only 3 states passed, is the report fair? Or is the Cowboy state vulnerable to corruption? Is our state at risk?