Chamber: We’re No. 1

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Louisiana has vaulted 41 spots in the Better Government Association’s Integrity Index, making it to No. 5 in the country and behind first-place state New Jersey, then Rhode Island, Hawaii and Washington. The index, now in its second edition, ranks all 50 states on the strength of their laws that relate to transparency, ethics and accountability in government. 

After the first year of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration, the jump was no surprise — but it did draw some criticism for not being big enough. LA Ethics 1, a branch of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, was immediately critical of the upgrade awarded by the BGA. “The reforms championed by LA Ethics 1, the statewide coalition of more than 50 business and civic organizations pushing for governmental ethics reform in Louisiana, should and will reflect a No. 1 ranking,” says Adam Knapp, the chamber’s president and CEO. Knapp complains that the BGA Integrity Index relies on the Center for Public Integrity’s ranking of conflict of interest laws, which hasn’t been updated since 2006. In its own press release, BGA officials stated Louisiana would have captured the top spot had the Center for Public Integrity’s ranking been up to date. — Alford

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