Haslam touts grant transparency, closes records - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Haslam touts grant transparency, closes records

By ERIK SCHELZIG
Associated Press

(AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam is touting his proposal for more grants for companies investing in Tennessee as fostering transparency in the state's economic development program. But the Republican has also filed a bill to shield information used to make grant decisions from public view.

Clint Brewer, a spokesman for the Department of Economic and Community Development, said Wednesday that the two messages don't conflict.

Brewer said the main details of fast track grants will remain subject to the state's open records laws, as compared with information about tax credits that are largely confidential.

Brewer said the proposal to close "due diligence" information is due to the department's decision to require more details about the finances of potential investors before making grant decisions. He said releasing that information could discourage investors.

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