SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Corporations seeking tax breaks and other financial incentives would be prohibited from requiring local officials to sign secret contracts that keep taxpayers in the dark under legislation introduced by state Rep. Mike Halpin, D-Rock Island. “Under current law, large corporations are able to use a non-disclosure agreement to get favorable treatment when negotiating real estate deals with local governments,” said Halpin. “This practice puts not only the unit of government, but more importantly the taxpayers within it, on the hook for hidden costs and potentially problematic projects.” As part of negotiations about potential infrastructure projects and real estate deals, corporations such as Amazon and Foxconn have required city governments to sign non-disclosure agreements to prevent public knowledge of pending deals. While secrecy allows companies to seek out the best incentive package for them, it can be harmful for residents and taxpayers. For example, in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin where Foxconn is collecting $4.5 billion in government incentives to construct a new manufacturing plant, residents have come to learn that the number of local jobs the plant will actually create is far fewer than what was originally promised. Halpin’s House Bill 3219 prohibits the use of a non-disclosure agreement to keep residents in the dark about the economic risks of Foxconn-style deals between local governments and private companies. The measure is intended to increase transparency and accountability by allowing for public input on major project proposals. “Economic development deals should be considered with the welfare of local residents in mind, and negotiated in a way that is fully transparent and fiscally responsible,” said Halpin. “This legislation aims to bring taxpayers into the conversation and shift the balance of power away from these large corporations.”

Rep Mike HalpinRep Mike Halpin

(D-Rock Island) 72nd District
Springfield Office: 242A-W Stratton Office Building Springfield, IL   62706 (217) 782-5970 (217) 558-1253 FAX
District Office: 1504 3rd Ave., 2nd Floor County Office Bldg. Rock Island, IL  61201 (309) 558-3612 (309) 793-4764 FAX