Maryland ranks among the top 5 for government transparency—so says a 2013 report released by the Sunshine Review nonprofit group, cited in a recent article in the Baltimore Business Journal.
Alongside California, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Washington state, Maryland received a grade of B+, the highest grade any state earned in the report.
Broken down, Maryland earned an A- for its state website, while county, city and school district sites earned a B. Only 26 percent of county websites earned higher than Maryland's, and 60 percent earned a B grade for school district sites.
Conversely, the five worst-ranked states for government transparency are Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska and South Dakota.
Sunshine Review bases its rankings on an eight-step process, involving a 10-point "transparency checklist" for each of 6,000 state, county/city and school district websites.
The 10 points were developed in coordination with the Goldwater Institute, the Lucy Burns Institute, the Sunlight Foundation, Open City, Webitects and the Journalism Department of Columbia College. The scores for each state are tallied and averaged, then compared to the checklist point scale.