State Representative Michael Marcello (D-Scituate), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, joins the Roundtable this week to discuss the bumpy end to the House session; new tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge; repaying bonds for 38 Studios; and other issues.
The Rhode Island House of Representations Wednesday passed a budget that includes the first repayment for money owed over the state’s losing investment in video-game maker 38 Studios. Taxpayers remain on the hook for a total of about 90 million dollars.
The Rhode Island House resumed the budget debate Wednesday afternoon. It's the second day that followed an unusual defeat for House Speaker Gordon Fox which sent the state's spending plan for the fiscal year starting July 1 into uncertainty.
On Wednesday the House voted 67-4 on a bill that freezes tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge until February 1, 2014. The legislation also creates a commission to study how East Bay bridges are funded. And a provision in the House budget blocks any toll hikes for Newport's Pell Bridge.
In a development unheard of in recent history, the Rhode Island House of Representations ended a 10-hour budget session Wednesday without approving a spending plan. The budget remains 13 million dollars out of balance due to a rare defeat for House leaders.
House Minority Leader Brian Newberry (R-North Smithfield) joins the Roundtable this week to discuss his expectations on the budget; whether the state should pay back moral obligation bonds related to 38 Studios; what the General Assembly will accomplish this year to boost the economy; and more.
Residents and merchants in the East Bay are sharply opposing tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge. Local lawmakers have joined them in asserting the tolls will hurt the economy in communities near the bridge.
Robert A. Walsh Jr., executive director of the National Education Association Rhode Island, joins the Roundtable this week to discuss state Education Commissioner Deborah Gist; conflicting views on economic development; the debate over defaulting on bonds for 38 Studios; and Council 94's hiring of a prominent critic of state Treasurer Gina Raimondo.