Wisconsin has received the second-highest marks in the nation for economic development-related transparency and online access to information, according to a new report — a major boost for a state whose job-creation agency faced numerous problems in its early years.
The latest ranking from Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group Foundation and Frontier Group, both liberal advocacy organizations, underscores efforts at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. to increase transparency when taxpayer dollars are used to fund economic development subsidies.
While the state was criticized for a severe lack of spending transparency in a 2012 WISPIRG report, this year’s analysis found Wisconsin is second only to Ohio for providing online access to the state’s use of taxpayer dollars to subsidize business projects or economic development.
More than a third of U.S. states received an “F” grade, while Wisconsin is one of just four to receive a “B” grade or higher. Wisconsin is also one of only three states that publishes an annual grants report that tracks payments to corporations.