Michigan House Republicans
Rep. DeBoyer: State hasn’t learned its lesson on transparency with continued NDA use
RELEASE|June 14, 2024
Contact: Jay DeBoyer

State Rep. Jay DeBoyer today blasted the continued use of non-disclosure agreements for economic development in Michigan, labeling it government malpractice and underscoring the need for greater transparency for taxpayers who are funding state incentives for business attraction.

DeBoyer pointed to what he called “incredibly telling and concerning” testimony from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) in the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday. Officials from MEDC could not reveal what businesses or project they are pursuing for a site in one township because they signed NDAs with potential business partners.

“They declared they can dole out $250 million in taxpayer dollars for something and people don’t even know what it is,” said DeBoyer, of Clay Township. “This is terrible governing and the worst part of bureaucracy. I give credit to my colleague on the committee, state Rep. Sarah Lightner (R-Springport), for asking if NDAs are being used within this particular economic development pursuit and confronting an issue a ton of people seemed scared to address.”

DeBoyer called for the abolishment of NDAs when it involves taxpayer money. He has also consistently fought for greater transparency for the State Opportunities and Accountability Reserve (SOAR) fund that is used to attract new business ventures to Michigan.

“This is no longer a deliberative process to determine good governance. This is full-scale bribery to bring businesses into this state,” DeBoyer said. “If you can be bribed into this state, you can be bribed out of this state. For every move we make to attract job providers to Michigan, we also need to make sure we’re remaining attractive to hardworking taxpayers who live and work here by providing them with a transparent and accountable system of government. It’s completely counterproductive otherwise, and we are seeing it play out again with NDAs being used for this new secretive project.”

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