A new survey says Illinois is living up to its reputation as one of the most corrupt states in America.

Illinois State University professor Oz Dincer quizzed statehouse reporters across the country about their perception of political corruption in their state. Illinois scored about where you'd expect.

Illinois scores high in illegal corruption. Dincer said illegal corruption is essentially cash for votes or benefits.

The state is middle of the pack in legal corruption. Dincer defined legal corruption as quid-pro-quo. He said legal corruption can include casting votes to secure campaign contributions or endorsements.

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Dincer said there are two steps Illinois has to take immediately to fight corruption.

"First, government has to be transparent," Dincer explained. "And secondly, once you have the transparency, people have to watch it."

The professor said that will take time in Illinois.

"You don't become corrupt overnight," Dincer said. "So you can't solve it with a couple of new rules and regulations."

Dincer said his survey revealed another worrying fact: Fewer and fewer states have reporters at the statehouse to watch government for signs of corruption and call out public officials.

(Copyright WBGZ / www.AltonDailyNews.com)