A study of integrity in government is coming out soon, and Illinois might score well. Illinois was No. 11 in the nation in the last BGA-Alper integrity index, compiled in 2008 by the Better Government Association and Alper Services, a business consultant. BGA President Andy Shaw says the index takes into account open government laws, freedom of information and campaign finance laws, not the competence of our politicians to run government well.

“The integrity index is a good way of measuring the behavior of the politicians from an ethical standpoint. It doesn’t have anything to do with whether they’re making smart financial decisions or balancing the budget or solving the pension crisis,” he said.

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Shaw says states that have a reputation for corruption, but then enact laws to prevent the activities that made the state disreputable, tend to score well in this index. New Jersey was No. 1 in 2008.

Shaw says Illinois has improved in terms of honest government since Rod Blagojevich took office 10 years ago, whether or not the state is any better run.

The index also takes into account conflict-of-interest laws and whistleblower protection. The new index is due in January.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio/ www.AltonDailyNews.com)