Governor signs economic development bill that broadens business exemption in records law
Gov. Pat McCrory on Tuesday signed an economic development reform bill that significantly reduces the amount of information available under the public records law.
House Bill 1031 is a major revamp of how the state handles economic development. The law transfers responsibilities for job recruiting from the Department of Commerce to a new private non-profit agency, the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. The legislation makes clear that the agency will be subject to the public records law.
The new law also makes several changes to the North Carolina Public Records Law, specifically to section 132.6(d), that deal with exemptions for records related to economic development incentives. Under the current law, records can be withheld until a company decides whether or not it is going to locate or expand its operations in the state. Once the decision is announced, government records related to the decision become public.
Under the new law, those records will only become public if the company accepts incentives to relocate or expand its operations in North Carolina. If a business chooses to locate elsewhere, government records related to the efforts to recruit the company with incentives will not become public records.
The new law takes effect July 1.