Rhode Island Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein has upheld an initial legal settlement in Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s 38 Studios lawsuit over the $75 million state loan guarantee granted to the failed video game company started by Curt Schilling, the former Boston Red Sox pitcher.
In an opinion released this afternoon, Silverstein approved a $4.4 million settlement reached with the Providence law firm of Moses, Alfonso and Ryan, a firm that advised the state on bonds of the ill-fated loan program.
Hockey fans of the Boston Bruins will be able to show their allegiance on their Rhode Island license plates under legislation approved by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Lincoln Chafee.
Under the law, the new Bruins plates will cost hockey devotees an extra $40, half of which will go to the state and half will be allocated to charities affiliated with the Boston Bruins Foundation. The money must be spent on Rhode Island-based charities.
Calamari is now Rhode Island’s official state appetizer. At the signing ceremony, Governor Lincoln Chaffee said this bill is an important way to support Rhode Island’s fishing industry, despite the pushback he got for it.
“And I said to myself, you know [despite] all the cynicism about, ‘Why are you doing this with an appetizer when there are so many more important things to do?’ I went back to Rep. McNamara and Sen. Sosnowski and I said, ‘Let’s get that calamari bill. The fisherman want it!’”
The governor's name is misspelled on a new plaque celebrating Newport's historic Cliff Walk. The plaque was unveiled during a ceremony Wednesday marking the reopening of the Cliff Walk after major repairs.
The walk’s three and a half miles have been opening in increments ever since it was damaged by Superstorm Sandy in 2012. The largest portion, two miles long, has now reopened. A smaller, less-traveled part will remain closed, likely reopening in mid-July. Newport received 5 million dollars in state and federal funds to make the repairs.
Clay Pell, one of three Democrats vying for his party’s nomination for governor, is urging Gov. Lincoln Chafee to sign into law three education-related measures approved by the General Assembly in the waning hours of the 2014 legislative session.
The first would place a moratorium on the use of high-stakes tests as a graduation requirement. The other would change teacher evaluations and the third would provide full funding for all-day kindergarten in Rhode Island communities.
Several veteran-related bills made it through the General Assembly and are on their way to the governor’s desk. One of those bills gives disabled veterans waivers for classes at state colleges and universities.
Another bill lets honorably discharged veterans and National Guard reservists transfer skills they’ve learned during their service to fulfill requirements for trade apprenticeships.
Lawmakers also passed a resolution urging employers to give veterans who work for them time off on Veteran’s Day.
Some good news on the Wall Street front for the credit ratings of the state and the city of Providence.
Standard & Poor’s rating agency has affirmed the state’s credit rating and removed Rhode Island government from its CreditWatch list after the General Assembly voted to pay the $12 million installment on the state-backed bonds that financed the ill-fated 38 Studios video game fiasco.
The usual special interest groups are blasting the new state budget approved by the General Assembly. But RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says maybe lawmakers did the best they could in tough times.
Rhode Island’s General Assembly has approved an $8.7 billion taxing and spending plan for the financial year that begins July First. This budget has drawn fire from the usual suspects who roam the marble Statehouse corridors lobbying for their causes.