No state gets an “A” in a study of government transparency and corruption risk released by Public Radio International. Kansas ranked fairly high for safeguards, at number 9. Missouri finished at number 21.
Both received “passing grades,” but with lots of room for improvement. The joint effort by Public Radio International and the Institute for Public Integrity rates every state's transparency laws and their implementation on 350 specific criteria.
In the first portion of Wednesday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske welcomes former KPR statehouse reporter Peter Hancock and former Business Journal and the Star reporter Mike Sherry to share the results of the data they collected for the project.
University of Kansas political science professor Burdett Loomis and Missouri State University political science professor George Connor join Hancock and Sherry to discuss the findings and explain what they mean for the states' residents and governments, how influence and corruption is treated in Kansas vs. Missouri (one person interviewed was quoted as saying, “things that Kansas considers to be a scandal wouldn't make page five news in Missouri – in Missouri it wouldn't be news till one of your speakers of the House goes to jail) and explain where Kansas and Missouri rate compared to their regional and nationwide counterparts.