13 Investigates report leads to new jobs transparency law

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Indiana is opening up state records to allow you to track the Indiana Economic Development Corporation's activities.

New legislation signed by Governor Mike Pence Tuesday is designed to increase transparency in Indiana's economic development. While the new website provides information on contracts, it still won't reveal job statistics.

The move was prompted in part by 13 Investigates reports focusing on promises of jobs that were later found to have never materialized. During Gov. Mitch Daniels' tenure, state leaders boasted of 100,000 new Indiana jobs, but our investigation found many of the state's so-called successes were actually empty fields and deserted factories. Many of those companies received tax breaks from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

SEA 162 requires the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) to aggregate information on performance goals, jobs created, expected jobs, recaptured incentives and tax credits claimed each year. It also ensures that taxpayers have access to deal terms and contracts between the IEDC and companies coming to or already in Indiana.

A new portal site allows you to search for that information.

Both the new law and the new transparency portal lack a key element of transparency that some lawmakers wanted. IEDC will not tell tax payers how many jobs have been created by each company that receives tax breaks in return for jobs.

IEDC has refused to release that information, claiming it could discourage companies from relocating or expanding in Indiana. IEDC director Eric Doden admitted to WTHR that he has no evidence to support that position, and an Eyewitness News investigation showed nearby states that release detailed job statistics have outperformed Indiana in attracting new business.

SEA 162 was authored by Senator Mike Delph (R) and coauthored by Senators Jim Banks (R), Vaneta Becker (R), John Broden (D), Mike Young (R), Frank Mrvan (D), Jean Breaux (D), and Mark Stoops (D). The bill was sponsored by Representative Woody Burton (R) and cosponsored by Representatives Jerry Torr (R) and Justin Moed (D) and House Minority Leader Scott Pelath (D).