The bad news: Illinois has a bad report card.

The maybe-not-as-bad news: So do most other states.

In this case, it's the Center for Public Integrity, giving Illinois an overall integrity rating of D+. Only three states – Alaska, California, and Connecticut – did better.

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“We were given a list of 245 indicators or questions,” journalist Pam Dempsey says of the methodology, “to really assess Illinois' laws and practices in access to information.” Dempsey is executive director of the Champaign-based Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting and contracted with the Center for Public Integrity to research the state.

While the state did poorly on accountability metrics, that term, accountability, can be hard to measure. Some would say accountability to the public happens every Election Day.

“I actually think that's the wrong frame,” says Common Cause Illinois executive director Brian Gladstein. “I think accountability happens every day: having access to our elected officials” as opposed to lobbyists and public interests holding their attention.

(Copyright WBGZ / )