Bill Looks To Create Commission To Investigate State Loan Programs

Jun 10, 2014

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.

A new bill would create a commission to investigate state loan programs.

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.

“We still have an obligation to the taxpayers to go on ahead and look at exactly what happened in this entire process that led up to the creation of the program, the administration of the program," said Chippendale.

Chippendale, a member of the House Oversight Committee, is among a small number of lawmakers pressing for more details on 38 Studios. Speaker Mattiello said since the legislature isn’t an investigate body, law enforcement should take the lead in examining questions about the failed video game company.

Chippendale says he’s hopeful the House Oversight Committee will be able to unearth further revelations about the state’s losing investment in 38 Studios, regardless of what happens with his bill or another, sponsored by Oversight chairwoman Karen MacBeth (D-Cumberland) that would prohibit the repayment of moral obligation bonds to investors in the failed video game company.

“We can explore the legislative aspect of the loan guaranty program, the job guaranty program, which in a sense will still allow to get to where the legislative failures were in this process,”

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