Who would have guessed little old South Dakota would be one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to government corruption?  I certainly never would have imagined that, but supposedly it is.

But a new 2015 State Integrity study ranks South Dakota as one of the worst states in the nation for government corruption.

South Dakota ranked 47th in the nation, that's actually up from the last State Integrity Study done back in 2012, when the state came in 49th.

The ranking is based on the laws and systems each state has in place to prevent corruption and expose it when it does occur.

The low score stems from the lack of state laws designed to hold government leaders accountable.

South Dakota is one of a few states in the nation that does not have an independent ethics commission.

According to Suzanne Jones Pranger, the Executive Director of the South Dakota Democratic Party, the state currently investigates any sort of ethical problems through a system where state legislators, mainly Republican legislators, are overseeing any corruption scandals. In her opinion, that doesn't really produce the best results when there are partisan interests involved that need to be brought to light.

In 2014 South Dakota democrats proposed legislation to create a state ethics committee, but Republicans in the state believe it’s not the best formula to fix government corruption.

South Dakota Secretary of State Shantel Krebs believes each office in state government should hold each other accountable to the tax payers. That's why Krebs is working to improve transparency by providing consistent public updates online.

Conversely, South Dakota Democrats believe instead of relying on individual offices to improve procedures, the party would like to pass legislation to require more transparency.

South Dakota's neighbors had a much better showing on the Integrity study than the Rushmore state did.

Minnesota ranked 28th. Iowa came in tenth and Nebraska had the best rating of all three, they ranked as the eighth best state when it comes to discouraging government corruption.

Source: KSFY TV