State Republican Chairman Mark Smiley joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss the GOP gubernatorial primary between Allan Fung and Ken Block; the budget signed into law by Governor Lincoln Chafee; the outlook for electing more Republicans to the General Assembly; and the latest developments on 38 Studios.
House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello is applauding plans by state police to speak with lawmakers about a 2010 vote that set the stage for 38 Studios to come to Rhode Island. A Job Creation Guaranty Program approved by the legislature was later used to channel $75 million to the ill-fated video game company.
State Representative Joseph Shekarchi (D-Warwick) joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss the House budget; 38 Studios; the latest findings about public school performance in Rhode Island; and a new entry in the race for lieutenant governor.
A House vote in favor of a new $8.7 billion budget early Friday was dominated by debate about 38 Studios. The spending plan for the fiscal year starting July 1 includes $12.3 million dollars to continue paying back investors in the failed video game company.
Budget articles passed with lopsided margins and mostly no back and forth. Yet an attempt to establish an independent prosecutor to examine how the state bungled into 38 Studios sparked sharp exchanges. Representative Michael Marcello (D-Scituate) argued in favor of the outside probe.
A bill slated to be considered Tuesday by the House Finance Committee would create a commission to investigate loan programs like the one that funded 38 Studios. House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has opposed the idea of lawmakers using subpoenas to probe 38 Studios.
The bill sponsored by state Representative Michael Chippendale (R-Foster) would create a nine-member panel to investigate unsuccessful state loan programs. Chippendale said it’s important to press for answers even if the state budget being voted on later this week includes money to pay back 38 Studios’ investors.