You Know We Can See You, Right?
Shocking as realizing that Wall Street is more important than Main Street in Tennessee as it is in almost every other state in the Union, what’s even more shocking is the blatant attempt to continue to strip the laws that will keep the Governor and his administration from abusing their power. Tomorrow, the Tennessee State Senate will vote on SB2207, Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposal to offer cash incentives to large corporations in secret and without any kind of accountability. SB2207 adds due diligence materials such as “information on business processes, organization structure and ownership, financial statements, budgets, cash flow reports or similar materials that are provided to the department as part of an evaluation process for tax incentive, tax credits, or FastTrack funds” to the list of documents and records that are to remain confidential within the Department of Economic and Community Development. Defines “due diligence materials” His reason for the change? It’s “part of his plan to offer more cash incentives to companies to invest in Tennessee.”
Tom Humphrey has a must-read blog that covers state government and he provided us with these little tidbits of info that illustrate an executive branch run amok. One bill, HB2385, would allow the governor to appoint the executive director of the which deals only with the Tennessee Regulatory Authority, which oversees everything from natural gas companies to suburban sewer systems and phone calls by telemarketers. Another, SB2249, would allow the governor to appoint executive directors the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC), the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability, the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, taking that authority away from the boards themselves.