Something's afoot downtown, as the Springfield Sangamon Growth Alliance is hatching a plan that could put a law school, a so-called innovation center and who knows what else on four blocks stretching from Second to Fourth streets and from Washington to Monroe. Southern Illinois University and the University of Illinois Springfield would bring a long-sought university presence to downtown, which lots of folks, including us, would like to see. But this is the wrong way to start out. As an economic development corporation that includes both public officials and business executives, the Alliance is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act and Open Meetings Act. If this plan involved Microsoft or some other private entity that didn't want to show its hand to competitors before investing money, secrecy might be understandable. We're talking public money here, and when the public pays, the public deserves to know. Read what we know so far online at Fletcher Farrar, editor and CEO

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