G.R. Press: AG's Office Knew About Hangar42 Months Ago; Legislators Addressing Transparency

Investigation wasn't announced until the day after Mackinac Center attorney called for it

Attorney General Mike Cox's office knew about concerns regarding the Hangar42 film studio as early as February, according to a story in today's Grand Rapids Press. Cox, however, did not officially announce an investigation of the film subsidy deal until a day after being called on to do so by Mackinac Center Legal Foundation Director Patrick J. Wright.

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The Mackinac Center was the first to publicly raise questions about the Hangar42 deal with an essay and video posted on its website May 20 after a months-long investigation by Hoekstra and Fiscal Policy Director Michael LaFaive.

The Press today also reports that the House Tax Policy Committee passed legislation that would increase transparency for the film subsidy program.

"When the state is reluctant to release detailed spending and (tax) refund information about each production, it makes it difficult to make a fair assessment of the program," Hoekstra said.

Hoekstra recently addressed that problem in this blog post. Center analysts have been following the issue for more than a year.

The Livingston Daily Press & Argus reports that Senate Bills 796 and 889 were passed unanimously by the committee.