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GOP Tops Talk of ECD Confidentiality Balancing Act

Republican leaders on Capitol Hill say they’re still working out the details of a stalled piece of legislation that would keep secret certain information collected from businesses seeking millions in tax incentives from the state.

The Haslam administration-backed bill, SB2207, would expand the amount of due diligence information – such as corporate financial statements and ownership information – the state receives, but also keep that information confidential.

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey told reporters Thursday that the lingering issue is mitigating the concerns of open-government advocates as well as business interests.

“Where is that balance?” he said. “That sweet spot, to make sure that we get the information that we’re supposed to get and need to get and should get – and some of it should be confidential, because of proprietary information – yet what should not have to be confidential.”

“This is all up in the air, right now, is the bottom line,” he added.

House Speaker Beth Harwell said her chamber will take action on the bill next week, likely after the Senate. Like Ramsey, she said the issue is finding balance.

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