Survey: MA Least Transparent State at Making State Official Financial Disclosures Public

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BOSTON – New rankings from Pioneer Institute show that among the states that require financial disclosures of elected officials and other significant policy makers, Massachusetts is the least transparent.

“The goal of this project is to encourage the public to demand that states institute practices that lead to greater transparency,” said Pioneer Institute Director of Government Transparency Mary Connaughton. “Openness in government is the cornerstone of a healthy, vibrant democracy.”

The weighted ratings are based on seven attributes, including whether officials must be informed of the name of anyone requesting their Statement of Financial Interest, and whether officials’ filings are posted online.

Nine states achieved perfect scores. They are Alabama, Alaska, Iowa, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, South Carolina and Virginia.

Three states – Idaho, Michigan and Vermont – don’t require state officials to submit annual financial disclosures.

“Government transparency fosters civic engagement and promotes public trust,” Connaughton said. “Pioneer Institute remains committed to reporting on where Massachusetts needs to be more transparent and encouraging much more of it on Beacon Hill.”

Pioneer Institute is an independent, non-partisan, privately funded research organization that seeks to improve the quality of life in Massachusetts through civic discourse and intellectually rigorous, data-driven public policy solutions based on free market principles, individual liberty and responsibility, and the ideal of effective, limited and accountable government.

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