Indiana’s economic development agency says it has ended a contract with a New York public relations agency it hired to assess the damage to the state’s reputation after areligious objections law sparked boycott calls.
Indiana Economic Development Corp. executive vice president Chris Cotterill said Thursday that national recognition of the state’s business-friendly climate and cost management efforts guided the decision to cancel the contract with Porter Novelli.
The IEDC had hired Porter Novelli in May to help develop a plan to rebuild the state’s image after widespread criticism over the religious objections law. Critics contended the law would allow religious beliefs as a legal defense for discrimination against lesbians, gays and others before lawmakers revised its language.
The IEDC says Porter Novelli will be paid $365,000 for its work.
John Zody, Chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party, released this statement:
“[Gov.] Mike Pence’s arrogance must be at its peak if he thinks the overall well-being of Indiana is ‘booming’ following his RFRA mess. Aside the $250 million economic panic Governor Pence caused the state, Indiana ranked 44th in the nation for total economic growth at .4% GDP in 2014….The early termination of this contract raises more questions than provides answers. Governor Pence should release the contract as well as the plan Porter Novelli put together immediately.”