On Monday, an Illinois appeals court denied a motion by former Illinois Governor George Ryan to overturn a set of convictions that might have granted him his release or at least a new trial in his imprisonment on corruption charges. Meanwhile, another former Illinois Governor, Rod Blagojevich, is just five months into his 12-year prison sentence on corruption charges.
Such incidents have placed the Midwestern state at the tops of some lists of the most corrupt states in the union, an achievement that used to be held by states like Louisiana.
But according to Dan Krassner with Integrity Florida, the disclosure forms that legislators must complete in Louisiana now are among the best in the country, something that his group believes would behoove Florida's lawmakers to embrace.
In a new report, his group also advocates that financial disclosures be put on online, that lawmakers disclose any conflicts of interest before they vote (rather than after the vote as is done now), and that the state Ethics Commission be empowered to perform random audits of lawmakers' forms.
It also reports that lawmakers and top state officials accepted at least $104,449 in gifts from non-lobbyists in 2012.