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Transparency is necessary for the survival of any democracy, and as they say, all politics is local.

This month, the Online Access to Government Spending Data Foundation (OSPIRG) published a report that rated the local government of each state (plus the District of Columbia) according to the transparency of their financial dealings.

"Every year, state governments spend tens of billions of dollars through contracts for goods and services," the study's authors wrote. "Accountability and public scrutiny are necessary to ensure that the public can trust that state funds are well spent."

In order to judge said "transparency," OSPIRG inspected 13 elements on each state government website designed to provide financial transparency.

Each element was then given a rating based on a uniform standard for each category. For example, Utah, which scored a B- overall, received 24 out of 24 points for "providing a list or database of individual expenditures made to individual recipients," which was labeled by the researchers as the "Checkbook" score.

Of the 51 states or districts rated, 28 scored at least a B- overall, indicating superior levels of transparency. You might be surprised by which states didn't make the cut.

28 Arkansas
Wikimedia commons

OSPIRG grade: B-
Point total: 82


Checkbook level: 24/24

Search by recipient: 8/8

Search by keyword: 8/8

Search by agency: 8/8

Bulk downloadable: 6/6

Quasi-public agencies: 4/6

Excluded Information: 4/4

Checkbook level: 9/15

Downloadable: 2/4

Projected public benefits: 0/4

Actual public benefits: 0/4

Tax expenditure reports: 9/9

Recouped funds: 0/4

27 Utah
Wikimedia commons

OSPIRG grade: B-
Point total: 82


Checkbook level: 24/24

Search by recipient: 8/8

Search by keyword: 8/8

Search by agency: 8/8

Bulk downloadable: 6/6

Quasi-public agencies: 4/6

Excluded Information: 4/4

Checkbook level: 9/15

Downloadable: 0/4

Projected public benefits: 2/4

Actual public benefits: 0/4

Tax expenditure reports: 9/9

Recouped funds: 0/4

26 Oklahoma
Wikimedia commons

OSPIRG grade: B-
Point total: 82


Checkbook level: 24/24

Search by recipient: 8/8

Search by keyword: 8/8

Search by agency: 8/8

Bulk downloadable: 6/6

Quasi-public agencies: 4/6

Excluded Information: 2/4

Checkbook level: 11/15

Downloadable: 2/4

Projected public benefits: 0/4

Actual public benefits: 0/4

Tax expenditure reports: 9/9

Recouped funds: 0/4

25 Nebraska
Wikimedia commons

OSPIRG grade: B-
Point total: 82


Checkbook level: 24/24

Search by recipient: 8/8

Search by keyword: 8/8

Search by agency: 8/8

Bulk downloadable: 6/6

Quasi-public agencies: 4/6

Excluded Information: 2/4

Checkbook level: 9/15

Downloadable: 1/4

Projected public benefits: 3/4

Actual public benefits: 0/4

Tax expenditure reports: 9/9

Recouped funds: 0/4

24 Pennsylvania
Wikimedia commons

OSPIRG grade: B-
Point total: 82.5


Checkbook level: 24/24

Search by recipient: 8/8

Search by keyword: 8/8

Search by agency: 8/8

Bulk downloadable: 0/6

Quasi-public agencies: 4/6

Excluded Information: 4/4

Checkbook level: 14/15

Downloadable: 0/4

Projected public benefits: 3.5/4

Actual public benefits: 0/4

Tax expenditure reports: 9/9

Recouped funds: 0/4

23 Maryland
Wikimedia commons

OSPIRG grade: B-
Point total: 82.5


Checkbook level: 24/24

Search by recipient: 8/8

Search by keyword: 0/8

Search by agency: 8/8

Bulk downloadable: 6/6

Quasi-public agencies: 4/6

Excluded Information: 4/4

Checkbook level: 12/15

Downloadable: 2/4

Projected public benefits: 1/4

Actual public benefits: 3.5/4

Tax expenditure reports: 9/9

Recouped funds: 1/4

22 Tennessee
Wikimedia commons

OSPIRG grade: B
Point total: 83


Checkbook level: 24/24

Search by recipient: 8/8

Search by keyword: 8/8

Search by agency: 8/8

Bulk downloadable: 6/6

Quasi-public agencies: 4/6

Excluded Information: 4/4

Checkbook level: 9/15

Downloadable: 0/4

Projected public benefits: 2/4

Actual public benefits: 1/4

Tax expenditure reports: 9/9

Recouped funds: 0/4

21 Kentucky
Wikimedia commons

OSPIRG grade: B
Point total: 83


Checkbook level: 24/24

Search by recipient: 8/8

Search by keyword: 8/8

Search by agency: 8/8

Bulk downloadable: 3/6

Quasi-public agencies: 4/6

Excluded Information: 2/4

Checkbook level: 12/15

Downloadable: 0/4

Projected public benefits: 3/4

Actual public benefits: 1/4

Tax expenditure reports: 9/9

Recouped funds: 1/4

20 Connecticut
Wikimedia commons

OSPIRG grade: B
Point total: 83


Checkbook level: 24/24

Search by recipient: 8/8

Search by keyword: 8/8

Search by agency: 8/8

Bulk downloadable: 6/6

Quasi-public agencies: 0/6

Excluded Information: 2/4

Checkbook level: 12/15

Downloadable: 3/4

Projected public benefits: 0/4

Actual public benefits: 3/4

Tax expenditure reports: 9/9

Recouped funds: 0/4

19 Arizona
Wikimedia commons

OSPIRG grade: B
Point total: 84


Checkbook level: 24/24

Search by recipient: 8/8

Search by keyword: 8/8

Search by agency: 8/8

Bulk downloadable: 6/6

Quasi-public agencies: 4/6

Excluded Information: 4/4

Checkbook level: 9/15

Downloadable: 2/4

Projected public benefits: 1/4

Actual public benefits: 1/4

Tax expenditure reports: 9/9

Recouped funds: 0/4

18 Washington
Wikimedia commons

OSPIRG grade: B
Point total: 85


Checkbook level: 24/24

Search by recipient: 8/8

Search by keyword: 8/8

Search by agency: 8/8

Bulk downloadable: 6/6

Quasi-public agencies: 4/6

Excluded Information: 4/4

Checkbook level: 9/15

Downloadable: 2/4

Projected public benefits: 0/4

Actual public benefits: 3/4

Tax expenditure reports: 9/9

Recouped funds: 0/4

17 Montana
Wikimedia commons

OSPIRG grade: B
Point total: 86


Checkbook level: 24/24

Search by recipient: 8/8

Search by keyword: 8/8

Search by agency: 8/8

Bulk downloadable: 6/6

Quasi-public agencies: 4/6

Excluded Information: 4/4

Checkbook level: 12/15

Downloadable: 0/4

Projected public benefits: 2/4

Actual public benefits: 1/4

Tax expenditure reports: 9/9

Recouped funds: 0/4

16 Colorado
Wikimedia commons

OSPIRG grade: B
Point total: 86


Checkbook level: 24/24

Search by recipient: 8/8

Search by keyword: 8/8

Search by agency: 8/8

Bulk downloadable: 3/6

Quasi-public agencies: 4/6

Excluded Information: 4/4

Checkbook level: 15/15

Downloadable: 4/4

Projected public benefits: 2/4

Actual public benefits: 1/4

Tax expenditure reports: 9/9

Recouped funds: 0/4

15 Michigan
Wikimedia commons

OSPIRG grade: B
Point total: 86.5


Checkbook level: 24/24

Search by recipient: 8/8

Search by keyword: 8/8

Search by agency: 8/8

Bulk downloadable: 3/6

Quasi-public agencies: 4/6

Excluded Information: 0/4

Checkbook level: 15/15

Downloadable: 0/4

Projected public benefits: 4/4

Actual public benefits: 3.5/4

Tax expenditure reports: 9/9

Recouped funds: 0/4

14 Virginia
Wikimedia commons

OSPIRG grade: B+
Point total: 87


Checkbook level: 24/24

Search by recipient: 8/8

Search by keyword: 8/8

Search by agency: 8/8

Bulk downloadable: 6/6

Quasi-public agencies: 4/6

Excluded Information: 2/4

Checkbook level: 12/15

Downloadable: 1/4

Projected public benefits: 3/4

Actual public benefits: 2/4

Tax expenditure reports: 8/9

Recouped funds: 1/4

13 New York
Wikimedia commons

OSPIRG grade: B+
Point total: 88


Checkbook level: 24/24

Search by recipient: 8/8

Search by keyword: 8/8

Search by agency: 8/8

Bulk downloadable: 6/6

Quasi-public agencies: 4/6

Excluded Information: 4/4

Checkbook level: 12/15

Downloadable: 1/4

Projected public benefits: 2/4

Actual public benefits: 2/4

Tax expenditure reports: 9/9

Recouped funds: 0/4

12 Louisiana
Wikimedia commons

OSPIRG grade: B+
Point total: 88


Checkbook level: 24/24

Search by recipient: 8/8

Search by keyword: 8/8

Search by agency: 8/8

Bulk downloadable: 6/6

Quasi-public agencies: 4/6

Excluded Information: 0/4

Checkbook level: 14/15

Downloadable: 3.5/4

Projected public benefits: 3.5/4

Actual public benefits: 0/4

Tax expenditure reports: 9/9

Recouped funds: 0/4

11 Illinois
Wikimedia commons

OSPIRG grade: B+
Point total: 88.5


Checkbook level: 24/24

Search by recipient: 8/8

Search by keyword: 8/8

Search by agency: 8/8

Bulk downloadable: 6/6

Quasi-public agencies: 4/6

Excluded Information: 0/4

Checkbook level: 14/15

Downloadable: 0/4

Projected public benefits: 3.5/4

Actual public benefits: 3.5/4

Tax expenditure reports: 9/9

Recouped funds: 0/4

10 North Carolina
Wikimedia commons

OSPIRG grade: B+
Point total: 88.5


Checkbook level: 24/24

Search by recipient: 8/8

Search by keyword: 8/8

Search by agency: 8/8

Bulk downloadable: 3/6

Quasi-public agencies: 4/6

Excluded Information: 2/4

Checkbook level: 15/15

Downloadable: 0/4

Projected public benefits: 2/4

Actual public benefits: 3.5/4

Tax expenditure reports: 9/9

Recouped funds: 2/4

9 South Dakota
Wikimedia commons

OSPIRG grade: B+
Point total: 89.5


Checkbook level: 24/24

Search by recipient: 8/8

Search by keyword: 8/8

Search by agency: 8/8

Bulk downloadable: 6/6

Quasi-public agencies: 4/6

Excluded Information: 4/4

Checkbook level: 15/15

Downloadable: 0/4

Projected public benefits: 3.5/4

Actual public benefits: 0/4

Tax expenditure reports: 9/9

Recouped funds: 0/4

8 Wisconsin
Wikimedia commons

OSPIRG grade: A-
Point total: 90


Checkbook level: 24/24

Search by recipient: 8/8

Search by keyword: 8/8

Search by agency: 8/8

Bulk downloadable: 6/6

Quasi-public agencies: 4/6

Excluded Information: 2/4

Checkbook level: 15/15

Downloadable: 0/4

Projected public benefits: 4/4

Actual public benefits: 4/4

Tax expenditure reports: 7/9

Recouped funds: 0/4

7 Vermont
Wikimedia commons

OSPIRG grade: A-
Point total: 90


Checkbook level: 24/24

Search by recipient: 8/8

Search by keyword: 8/8

Search by agency: 8/8

Bulk downloadable: 6/6

Quasi-public agencies: 4/6

Excluded Information: 4/4

Checkbook level: 15/15

Downloadable: 1/4

Projected public benefits: 2/4

Actual public benefits: 1/4

Tax expenditure reports: 9/9

Recouped funds: 0/4

6 Iowa
Wikimedia commons

OSPIRG grade: A-
Point total: 90


Checkbook level: 24/24

Search by recipient: 8/8

Search by keyword: 8/8

Search by agency: 8/8

Bulk downloadable: 6/6

Quasi-public agencies: 4/6

Excluded Information: 4/4

Checkbook level: 12/15

Downloadable: 2/4

Projected public benefits: 2/4

Actual public benefits: 2/4

Tax expenditure reports: 9/9

Recouped funds: 1/4

5 Massachusetts
Wikimedia commons

OSPIRG grade: A-
Point total: 90.5


Checkbook level: 24/24

Search by recipient: 8/8

Search by keyword: 8/8

Search by agency: 8/8

Bulk downloadable: 6/6

Quasi-public agencies: 4/6

Excluded Information: 4/4

Checkbook level: 14/15

Downloadable: 3.5/4

Projected public benefits: 2/4

Actual public benefits: 0/4

Tax expenditure reports: 9/9

Recouped funds: 0/4

4 Texas
Wikimedia commons

OSPIRG grade: A-
Point total: 91


Checkbook level: 24/24

Search by recipient: 8/8

Search by keyword: 8/8

Search by agency: 8/8

Bulk downloadable: 6/6

Quasi-public agencies: 4/6

Excluded Information: 4/4

Checkbook level: 12/15

Downloadable: 1/4

Projected public benefits: 3/4

Actual public benefits: 2/4

Tax expenditure reports: 9/9

Recouped funds: 2/4

3 Florida
Wikimedia commons

OSPIRG grade: A-
Point total: 92.5


Checkbook level: 24/24

Search by recipient: 8/8

Search by keyword: 8/8

Search by agency: 8/8

Bulk downloadable: 6/6

Quasi-public agencies: 4/6

Excluded Information: 4/4

Checkbook level: 14/15

Downloadable: 0/4

Projected public benefits: 3/4

Actual public benefits: 3.5/4

Tax expenditure reports: 9/9

Recouped funds: 1/4

2 Oregon
Wikimedia commons

OSPIRG grade: A-
Point total: 93.5


Checkbook level: 24/24

Search by recipient: 8/8

Search by keyword: 8/8

Search by agency: 8/8

Bulk downloadable: 6/6

Quasi-public agencies: 4/6

Excluded Information: 4/4

Checkbook level: 12/15

Downloadable: 3/4

Projected public benefits: 3.5/4

Actual public benefits: 3/4

Tax expenditure reports: 9/9

Recouped funds: 1/4

1 Indiana
Wikimedia commons

OSPIRG grade: A-
Point total: 94/100


Checkbook level: 24/24

Search by recipient: 8/8

Search by keyword: 8/8

Search by agency: 8/8

Bulk downloadable: 6/6

Quasi-public agencies: 4/6

Excluded Information: 4/4

Checkbook level: 14/15

Downloadable: 3/4

Projected public benefits: 3/4

Actual public benefits: 0/4

Tax expenditure reports: 9/9

Recouped funds: 3/4